The Project Gutenberg eBook of Pelham — Volume 03

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Title: Pelham — Volume 03

Author: Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton

Release date: March 1, 2005 [eBook #7617]
Most recently updated: December 30, 2020

Language: English

Credits: This eBook was produced by David Widger


This eBook was produced by David Widger



           It must be confessed, that flattery comes mighty
           easily to one's mouth in the presence of royalty.
                     —Letters of Stephen Montague.

             'Tis he.—How came he thence—what doth he here?

I had received for that evening (my last at Paris) an invitation from the Duchesse de B—. I knew that the party was to be small, and that very few besides the royal family would compose it. I had owed the honour of this invitation to my intimacy with the _____s, the great friends of the duchesse, and I promised myself some pleasure in the engagement.

There were but eight or nine persons present when I entered the royal chamber. The most distingue of these I recognized immediately as the—. He came forward with much grace as I approached, and expressed his pleasure at seeing me.

"You were presented, I think, about a month ago," added the—, with a smile of singular fascination; "I remember it well."

I bowed low to this compliment.

"Do you propose staying long at Paris?" continued the—.

"I protracted," I replied, "my departure solely for the honour this evening affords me. In so doing, please your—, I have followed the wise maxim of keeping the greatest pleasure to the last."

The royal chevalier bowed to my answer with a smile still sweeter than before, and began a conversation with me which lasted for several minutes. I was much struck with the—'s air and bearing. They possess great dignity, without any affectation of its assumption. He speaks peculiarly good English, and the compliment of addressing me in that language was therefore as judicious as delicate. His observations owed little to his rank; they would have struck you as appropriate, and the air which accompanied them pleased you as graceful, even in a simple individual. Judge, then, if they charmed me in the—. The upper part of his countenance is prominent and handsome, and his eyes have much softness of expression. His figure is slight and particularly well knit; perhaps he is altogether more adapted to strike in private than in public effect. Upon the whole, he is one of those very few persons of great rank whom you would have had pride in knowing as an equal, and have pleasure in acknowledging as a superior.

As the—paused, and turned with great courtesy to the Duc de—, I bowed my way to the Duchesse de B—. That personage, whose liveliness and piquancy of manner always make one wish for one's own sake that her rank was less exalted, was speaking with great volubility to a tall, stupid looking man, one of the ministers, and smiled most graciously upon me as I drew near. She spoke to me of our national amusements. "You are not," said she, "so fond of dancing as we are."

"We have not the same exalted example to be at once our motive and our model," said I, in allusion to the duchesse's well known attachment to that accomplishment. The Duchesse D'A—came up as I said this, and the conversation flowed on evenly enough till the—'s whist party was formed. His partner was Madame de la R—, the heroine of La Vendee. She was a tall and very stout woman, singularly lively and entertaining, and appeared to possess both the moral and the physical energy to accomplish feats still more noble than those she performed.

I soon saw that it would not do for me to stay very long. I had already made a favourable impression, and, in such cases, it is my constant rule immediately to retire. Stay, if it be whole hours, until you have pleased, but leave the moment after your success. A great genius should not linger too long either in the salon or the world. He must quit each with eclat. In obedience to this rule, I no sooner found that my court had been effectually made than I rose to withdraw.

"You will return soon to Paris," said the Duchesse de B—.

"I cannot resist it," I replied. "Mon corps reviendra pour chercher mon coeur."

"We shall not forget you," said the duchesse.

"Your Highness has now given me my only inducement not to return," I answered, as I bowed out of the room.

It was much too early to go home; at that time I was too young and restless to sleep till long after midnight; and while I was deliberating in what manner to pass the hours, I suddenly recollected the hotel in the Rue St. Honore, to which Vincent and I had paid so unceremonious a visit the night before. Impressed with the hope that I might be more successful in meeting Warburton than I had then been, I ordered the coachman to drive to the abode of the old Marquis—The salon was as crowded as usual. I lost a few Napoleons at ecarte in order to pay my entree, and then commenced a desultory flirtation with one of the fair decoys. In this occupation my eye and my mind frequently wandered. I could not divest myself of the hope of once more seeing Warburton before my departure from Paris, and every reflection which confirmed my suspicions of his identity redoubled my interest in his connection with Tyrrell and the vulgar debauche of the Rue St. Dominique. I was making some languid reply to my Cynthia of the minute, when my ear was suddenly greeted by an English voice. I looked round, and saw Thornton in close conversation with a man whose back was turned to me, but whom I rightly conjectured to be Tyrrell.

"Oh! he'll be here soon," said the former, "and we'll bleed him regularly to-night. It is very singular that you who play so much better should not have floored him yesterday evening."

Tyrrell replied in a tone so low as to be inaudible, and a minute afterwards the door opened, and Warburton entered. He came up instantly to Thornton and his companion; and after a few words of ordinary salutation, Warburton said, in one of those modulated tones so peculiar to himself, "I am sure, Tyrrell, that you must be eager for your revenge. To lose to such a mere Tyro as myself, is quite enough to double the pain of defeat, and the desire of retaliation."

I did not hear Tyrrell's reply, but the trio presently moved towards the door, which till then I had not noticed, and which was probably the entrance to our hostess's boudoir. The soi-disant marquise opened it herself, for which kind office Thornton gave her a leer and a wink, characteristic of his claims to gallantry. When the door was again closed upon them, I went up to the marquise, and after a few compliments, asked whether the room Messieurs les Anglois had entered, was equally open to all guests?

"Why," said she, with a slight hesitation, "those gentlemen play for higher stakes than we usually do here, and one of them is apt to get irritated by the advice and expostulations of the lookers on; and so after they had played a short time in the salon last night, Monsieur Thornton, a very old friend of mine," (here the lady looked down) "asked me permission to occupy the inner room; and as I knew him so well, I could have no scruple in obliging him."

"Then, I suppose," said I, "that, as a stranger, I have not permission to intrude upon them?"

"Shall I inquire?" answered the marquise.

"No!" said I, "it is not worth while;" and accordingly I re-seated myself, and appeared once more occupied in saying des belles choses to my kind-hearted neighbour. I could not, however, with all my dissimulation, sustain a conversation from which my present feelings were so estranged, for more than a few minutes; and I was never more glad than when my companion, displeased with my inattention, rose, and left me to my own reflections.

What could Warburton (if he were the person I suspected) gain by the disguise he had assumed? He was too rich to profit by any sums he could win from Tyrrell, and too much removed from Thornton's station in life, to derive any pleasure or benefit from his acquaintance with that person. His dark threats of vengeance in the Jardin des Plantes, and his reference to the two hundred pounds Tyrrell possessed, gave me, indeed, some clue as to his real object; but then—why this disguise! Had he known Tyrrell before, in his proper semblance, and had anything passed between them, which rendered this concealment now expedient?—this, indeed, seemed probable enough; but, was Thornton entrusted with the secret?—and, if revenge was the object, was that low man a partaker in its execution?—or was he not, more probably, playing the traitor to both? As for Tyrrell himself, his own designs upon Warburton were sufficient to prevent pity for any fall into the pit he had dug for others.

Meanwhile, time passed on, the hour grew late, and the greater part of the guests were gone; still I could not tear myself away; I looked from time to time at the door, with an indescribable feeling of anxiety. I longed, yet dreaded, for it to open; I felt as if my own fate were in some degree implicated in what was then agitating within, and I could not resolve to depart, until I had formed some conclusions on the result.

At length the door opened; Tyrrell came forth—his countenance was perfectly hueless, his cheek was sunk and hollow, the excitement of two hours had been sufficient to render it so. I observed that his teeth were set, and his hand clenched, as they are when we idly seek, by the strained and extreme tension of the nerves, to sustain the fever and the agony of the mind. Warburton and Thornton followed him; the latter with his usual air of reckless indifference—his quick rolling eye glanced from the marquis to myself, and though his colour changed slightly, his nod of recognition was made with its wonted impudence and ease; but Warburton passed on, like Tyrrell, without noticing or heeding any thing around. He fixed his large bright eye upon the figure which preceded him, without once altering its direction, and the extreme beauty of his features, which, not all the dishevelled length of his hair and whiskers could disguise, was lighted up with a joyous but savage expression, which made me turn away, almost with a sensation of fear.

Just as Tyrrell was leaving the room, Warburton put his hand upon his shoulder—"Stay," said he, "I am going your way, and will accompany you." He turned round to Thornton (who was already talking with the marquis) as he said this, and waved his hand, as if to prevent his following; the next moment, Tyrrell and himself had left the room.

I could not now remain longer. I felt a feverish restlessness, which impelled me onwards. I quitted the salon, and was on the escalier before the gamesters had descended. Warburton was, indeed, but a few steps before me; the stairs were but very dimly lighted by one expiring lamp; he did not turn round to see me, and was probably too much engrossed to hear me.

"You may yet have a favourable reverse," said he to Tyrrell.

"Impossible!" replied the latter, in a tone of such deep anguish, that it thrilled me to the very heart. "I am an utter beggar—I have nothing in the world—I have no expectation but to starve!"

While he was saying this, I perceived by the faint and uncertain light, that Warburton's hand was raised to his own countenance.

"Have you no hope—no spot wherein to look for comfort—is beggary your absolute and only possible resource from famine?" he replied, in a low and suppressed tone.

At that moment we were just descending into the court-yard. Warburton was but one step behind Tyrrell: the latter made no answer; but as he passed from the dark staircase into the clear moonlight of the court, I caught a glimpse of the big tears which rolled heavily and silently down his cheeks. Warburton laid his hand upon him.

"Turn," he cried, suddenly, "your cup is not yet full—look upon me—and remember!"

I pressed forward—the light shone full upon the countenance of the speaker—the dark hair was gone—my suspicions were true—I discovered at one glance the bright locks and lofty brow of Reginald Glanville. Slowly Tyrrell gazed, as if he were endeavouring to repel some terrible remembrance, which gathered, with every instant, more fearfully upon him; until, as the stern countenance of Glanville grew darker and darker in its mingled scorn and defiance, he uttered one low cry, and sank senseless upon the earth.


             Well, he is gone, and with him go these thoughts.

                   What ho! for England!

I have always had an insuperable horror of being placed in what the vulgar call a predicament. In a predicament I was most certainly placed at the present moment. A man at my feet in a fit—the cause of it having very wisely disappeared, devolving upon me the charge of watching, recovering, and conducting home the afflicted person—made a concatenation of disagreeable circumstances, as much unsuited to the temper of Henry Pelham, as his evil fortune could possibly have contrived.

After a short pause of deliberation, I knocked up the porter, procured some cold water, and bathed Tyrrell's temples for several moments before he recovered. He opened his eyes slowly, and looked carefully round with a fearful and suspicious glance: "Gone—gone—(he muttered)—ay—what did he here at such a moment?—vengeance—for what?—I could not tell—it would have killed her—let him thank his own folly. I do not fear; I defy his malice." And with these words, Tyrrell sprung to his feet.

"Can I assist you to your home?" said I; "you are still unwell—pray suffer me to have that pleasure."

I spoke with some degree of warmth and sincerity; the unfortunate man stared wildly at me for a moment, before he replied. "Who," said he, at last, "who speaks to me—the lost—the guilty—the ruined, in the accents of interest and kindness?"

I placed his arm in mine, and drew him out of the yard into the open street. He looked at me with an eager and wistful survey, and then, by degrees, appearing to recover his full consciousness of the present, and recollection of the past, he pressed my hand warmly, and after a short silence, during which we moved on slowly towards the Tuileries, he said,- -"Pardon me, Sir, if I have not sufficiently thanked you for your kindness and attention. I am now quite restored; the close room in which I have been sitting for so many hours, and the feverish excitement of play, acting upon a frame very debilitated by ill health, occasioned my momentary indisposition. I am now, I repeat, quite recovered, and will no longer trespass upon your good nature."

"Really," said I, "you had better not discard my services yet. Do suffer me to accompany you home?"

"Home!" muttered Tyrrell, with a deep sigh; "no—no!" and then, as if recollecting himself, he said, "I thank you, Sir, but—but—" I saw his embarrassment, and interrupted him.

"Well, if I cannot assist you any further, I will take your dismissal. I trust we shall meet again under auspices better calculated for improving acquaintance."

Tyrrell bowed, once more pressed my hand, and we parted. I hurried on up the long street towards my hotel.

When I had got several paces beyond Tyrrell, I turned back to look at him. He was standing in the same place in which I had left him. I saw by the moonlight that this face and hands were raised towards Heaven. It was but for a moment: his attitude changed while I was yet looking, and he slowly and calmly continued his way in the same direction as myself. When I reached my chambers, I hastened immediately to bed, but not to sleep: the extraordinary scene I had witnessed; the dark and ferocious expression of Glanville's countenance, so strongly impressed with every withering and deadly passion; the fearful and unaccountable remembrance that had seemed to gather over the livid and varying face of the gamester; the mystery of Glanville's disguise; the intensity of a revenge so terribly expressed, together with the restless and burning anxiety I felt—not from idle curiosity, but, from my early and intimate friendship for Glanville, to fathom its cause—all crowded upon my mind with a feverish confusion, that effectually banished repose.

It was with that singular sensation of pleasure which none but those who have passed frequent nights in restless and painful agitation, can recognize, that I saw the bright sun penetrate through my shutters, and heard Bedos move across my room.

"What hour will Monsieur have the post horses?" said that praiseworthy valet.

"At eleven," answered I, springing out of bed with joy at the change of scene which the very mention of my journey brought before my mind.

I was a luxurious personage in those days. I had had a bath made from my own design; across it were constructed two small frames—one for the journal of the day, and another to hold my breakfast apparatus; in this manner I was accustomed to lie for about an hour, engaging the triple happiness of reading, feeding, and bathing. Owing to some unaccountable delay, Galignani's Messenger did not arrive at the usual hour, on the morning of my departure; to finish breakfast, or bathing, without Galignani's Messenger, was perfectly impossible, so I remained, till I was half boiled, in a state of the most indolent imbecility.

At last it came: the first paragraph that struck my eyes was the following:—"It is rumoured among the circles of the Faubourg, that a duel was fought on—, between a young Englishman and Monsieur D—; the cause of it is said to be the pretensions of both to the beautiful Duchesse de P—, who, if report be true, cares for neither of the gallants, but lavishes her favours upon a certain attache to the English embassy."

"Such," thought I, "are the materials for all human histories. Every one who reads, will eagerly swallow this account as true: if an author were writing the memoirs of the court, he would compile his facts and scandal from this very collection of records; and yet, though so near the truth, how totally false it is! Thank Heaven, however, that, at least, I am not suspected of the degradation of the duchesse's love:—to fight for her may make me seem a fool—to be loved by her would constitute me a villain."

The next passage in that collection of scandal which struck me was—"We understand that E. W. Howard de Howard, Esq., Secretary, is shortly to lead to the hymeneal altar the daughter of Timothy Tomkins, Esq., late Consul of—." I quite started out of my bath with delight. I scarcely suffered myself to be dried and perfumed, before I sat down to write the following congratulatory epistle to the thin man:—

"My dear Mr. Howard de Howard,

"Permit me, before I leave Paris, to compliment you upon that happiness which I have just learnt is in store for you. Marriage to a man like you, who has survived the vanities of the world—who has attained that prudent age when the passions are calmed into reason, and the purer refinements of friendship succeed to the turbulent delirium of the senses—marriage, my dear Mr. Howard, to a man like you, must, indeed, be a most delicious Utopia. After all the mortifications you may meet elsewhere, whether from malicious females, or a misjudging world, what happiness to turn to one being to whom your praise is an honour, and your indignation of consequence!

"But if marriage itself be so desirable, what words shall I use sufficiently expressive of my congratulation at the particular match you have chosen, so suitable in birth and station? I can fancy you, my dear Sir, in your dignified retirement, expatiating to your admiring bride upon all the honours of your illustrious line, and receiving from her, in return, a full detail of all the civic glories that have ever graced the lineage of the Tomkins's. As the young lady is, I suppose, an heiress, I conclude you will take her name, instead of changing it. Mr. Howard de Howard de Tomkins, will sound peculiarly majestic; and when you come to the titles and possessions of your ancestors, I am persuaded that you will continue to consider your alliance with the honest citizens of London among your proudest distinctions.

"Should you have any commands in England, a letter directed to me in Grosvenor-square will be sure to find me; and you may rely upon my immediately spreading among our mutual acquaintance in London, the happy measure you are about to adopt, and my opinions on its propriety.

"Adieu, my dear Sir,
"With the greatest respect and truth,

"H. Pelham."

"There," said I, as I sealed my letter, "I have discharged some part of that debt I owe to Mr. Howard de Howard, for an enmity towards me, which he has never affected to conceal. He prides himself on his youth—my allusions to his age will delight him! On the importance of his good or evil opinion—I have flattered him to a wonder! Of a surety, Henry Pelham, I could not have supposed you were such an adept in the art of panegyric."

"The horses, Sir!" said Bedos; and "the bill, Sir?" said the garcon. Alas! that those and that should be so coupled together; and that we can never take our departure without such awful witnesses of our sojourn. Well—to be brief—the bill for once was discharged—the horses snorted— the carriage door was opened—I entered—Bedos mounted behind—crack went the whips—off went the steeds, and so terminated my adventures at dear Paris.


           O, cousin, you know him—the fine gentleman they
           talk of so much in town.
                     —Wycherly's Dancing Master.

By the bright days of my youth, there is something truly delightful in the quick motion of four post-horses. In France, where one's steeds are none of the swiftest, the pleasures of travelling are not quite so great as in England; still, however, to a man who is tired of one scene— panting for another—in love with excitement, and not yet wearied of its pursuit—the turnpike road is more grateful than the easiest chair ever invented, and the little prison we entitle a carriage, more cheerful than the state-rooms of Devonshire House.

We reached Calais in safety, and in good time, the next day.

"Will Monsieur dine in his rooms, or at the table d'hote?"

"In his rooms, of course," said Bedos, indignantly deciding the question.
A French valet's dignity is always involved in his master's.

"You are too good, Bedos," said I, "I shall dine at the table d'hote—who have you there in general?"

"Really," said the garcon, "we have such a swift succession of guests, that we seldom see the same faces two days running. We have as many changes as an English administration."

"You are facetious," said I.

"No," returned the garcon, who was a philosopher as well as a wit; "no, my digestive organs are very weak, and par consequence, I am naturally melancholy—Ah, ma fois tres triste!" and with these words the sentimental plate-changer placed his hand—I can scarcely say, whether on his heart, or his stomach, and sighed bitterly!

"How long," said I, "does it want to dinner?" My question restored the garcon to himself.

"Two, hours, Monsieur, two hours," and twirling his serviette with an air of exceeding importance, off went my melancholy acquaintance to compliment new customers, and complain of his digestion.

After I had arranged myself and my whiskers—two very distinct affairs— yawned three times, and drank two bottles of soda water, I strolled into the town. As I was sauntering along leisurely enough, I heard my name pronounced behind me. I turned, and saw Sir Willoughby Townshend, an old baronet of an antediluvian age—a fossil witness of the wonders of England, before the deluge of French manners swept away ancient customs, and created, out of the wrecks of what had been, a new order of things, and a new race of mankind.

"Ah! my dear Mr. Pelham, how are you? and the worthy Lady Frances, your mother, and your excellent father, all well?—I'm delighted to hear it. Russelton," continued Sir Willoughby, turning to a middle-aged man, whose arm he held, "you remember Pelham—true Whig—great friend of Sheridan's?—let me introduce his son to you. Mr. Russelton, Mr. Pelham; Mr. Pelham, Mr. Russelton."

At the name of the person thus introduced to me, a thousand recollections crowded upon my mind; the contemporary and rival of Napoleon—the autocrat of the great world of fashion and cravats—the mighty genius before whom aristocracy had been humbled and ton abashed—at whose nod the haughtiest noblesse of Europe had quailed—who had introduced, by a single example, starch into neckcloths, and had fed the pampered appetite of his boot-tops on champagne—whose coat and whose friend were cut with an equal grace—and whose name was connected with every triumph that the world's great virtue of audacity could achieve—the illustrious, the immortal Russelton, stood before me. I recognised in him a congenial, though a superior spirit, and I bowed with a profundity of veneration, with which no other human being has ever inspired me.

Mr. Russelton seemed pleased with my evident respect, and returned my salutation with a mock dignity which enchanted me. He offered me his disengaged arm; I took it with transport, and we all three proceeded up the street.

"So," said Sir Willoughby—"so, Russelton, you like your quarters here; plenty of sport among the English, I should think: you have not forgot the art of quizzing; eh, old fellow?"

"Even if I had," said Mr. Russelton, speaking very slowly, "the sight of Sir Willoughby Townshend would be quite sufficient to refresh my memory. Yes," continued the venerable wreck, after a short pause,—"yes, I like my residence pretty well; I enjoy a calm conscience, and a clean shirt: what more can man desire? I have made acquaintance with a tame parrot, and I have taught it to say, whenever an English fool with a stiff neck and a loose swagger passes him—'True Briton—true Briton.' I take care of my health, and reflect upon old age. I have read Gil Blas, and the Whole Duty of Man; and, in short, what with instructing my parrot, and improving myself, I think I pass my time as creditably and decorously as the Bishop of Winchester, or my Lord of A—v—ly himself. So you have just come from Paris, I presume, Mr. Pelham?"

"I left it yesterday!"

"Full of those horrid English, I suppose; thrusting their broad hats and narrow minds into every shop in the Palais Royal—winking their dull eyes at the damsels of the counter, and manufacturing their notions of French into a higgle for sous. Oh! the monsters!—they bring on a bilious attack whenever I think of them: the other day one of them accosted me, and talked me into a nervous fever about patriotism and roast pigs: luckily I was near my own house, and reached it before the thing became fatal; but only think, had I wandered too far when he met me! at my time of life, the shock would have been too great; I should certainly have perished in a fit. I hope, at least, they would have put the cause of my death in my epitaph—'Died, of an Englishman, John Russelton, Esq., aged,' Pah! You are not engaged, Mr. Pelham; dine with me to-day; Willoughby and his umbrella are coming."

"Volontiers," said I, "though I was going to make observations on men and manners at the table d'hote of my hotel."

"I am most truly grieved," replied Mr. Russelton, "at depriving you of so much amusement. With me you will only find some tolerable Lafitte, and an anomalous dish my cuisiniere calls a mutton chop. It will be curious to see what variation in the monotony of mutton she will adopt to-day. The first time I ordered "a chop," I thought I had amply explained every necessary particular; a certain portion of flesh, and a gridiron: at seven o'clock, up came a cotelette panee, faute de mieux. I swallowed the composition, drowned as it was, in a most pernicious sauce. I had one hour's sleep, and the nightmare, in consequence. The next day, I imagined no mistake could be made: sauce was strictly prohibited; all extra ingredients laid under a most special veto, and a natural gravy gently recommended: the cover was removed, and lo! a breast of mutton, all bone and gristle, like the dying gladiator! This time my heart was too full for wrath; I sat down and wept! To-day will be the third time I shall make the experiment, if French cooks will consent to let one starve upon nature. For my part, I have no stomach left now for art: I wore out my digestion in youth, swallowing Jack St. Leger's suppers, and Sheridan's promises to pay. Pray, Mr. Pelham, did you try Staub when you were at Paris?"

"Yes; and thought him one degree better than Stultz, whom, indeed, I have long condemned, as fit only for minors at Oxford, and majors in the infantry."

"True," said Russelton, with a very faint smile at a pun, somewhat in his own way, and levelled at a tradesman, of whom he was, perhaps, a little jealous—"True; Stultz aims at making gentlemen, not coats; there is a degree of aristocratic pretension in his stitches, which is vulgar to an appalling degree. You can tell a Stultz coat any where, which is quite enough to damn it: the moment a man's known by an invariable cut, and that not original, it ought to be all over with him. Give me the man who makes the tailor, not the tailor who makes the man."

"Right, by G—!" cried Sir Willoughby, who was as badly dressed as one of Sir E—'s dinners. "Right; just my opinion. I have always told my Schneiders to make my clothes neither in the fashion nor out of it; to copy no other man's coat, and to cut their cloth according to my natural body, not according to an isosceles triangle. Look at this coat, for instance," and Sir Willoughby Townshend made a dead halt, that we might admire his garment the more accurately.

"Coat!" said Russelton, with an appearance of the most naive surprise, and taking hold of the collar, suspiciously, by the finger and thumb; "coat, Sir Willoughby! do you call this thing a coat?"


             J'ai toujours cru que le bon n'etait que le beau
             mis en action.

Shortly after Russelton's answer to Sir Willoughby's eulogistic observations on his own attire, I left those two worthies till I was to join them at dinner; it wanted three hours yet to that time, and I repaired to my quarters to bathe and write letters. I scribbled one to Madame D'Anville, full of antitheses and maxims, sure to charm her; another to my mother, to prepare her for my arrival; and a third to Lord Vincent, giving him certain commissions at Paris, which I had forgotten personally to execute.

My pen is not that of a ready writer; and what with yawning, stretching, admiring my rings, and putting pen to paper, in the intervals of these more natural occupations, it was time to bathe and dress before my letters were completed. I set off to Russelton's abode in high spirits, and fully resolved to make the most of a character so original.

It was a very small room in which I found him; he was stretched in an easy chair before the fire-place, gazing complacently at his feet, and apparently occupied in any thing but listening to Sir Willoughby Townsend, who was talking with great vehemence about politics and the corn laws. Notwithstanding the heat of the weather, there was a small fire on the hearth, which, aided by the earnestness of his efforts to convince his host, put poor Sir Willoughby into a most intense perspiration. Russelton, however, seemed enviably cool, and hung over the burning wood like a cucumber on a hotbed. Sir Willoughby came to a full stop by the window, and (gasping for breath) attempted to throw it open.

"What are you doing? for Heaven's sake, what are you doing?" cried
Russelton, starting up; "do you mean to kill me?"

"Kill you!" said Sir Willoughby, quite aghast.

"Yes; kill me! is it not quite cold enough already in this d—d seafaring place, without making my only retreat, humble as it is, a theatre for thorough draughts? Have I not had the rheumatism in my left shoulder, and the ague in my little finger, these last six months? and must you now terminate my miserable existence at one blow, by opening that abominable lattice? Do you think, because your great frame, fresh from the Yorkshire wolds, and compacted of such materials, that one would think, in eating your beeves, you had digested their hides into skin—do you think, because your limbs might be cut up into planks for a seventy-eight, and warranted water-proof without pitch, because of the density of their pores—do you think, because you are as impervious as an araphorostic shoe, that I, John Russelton, am equally impenetrable, and that you are to let easterly winds play about my room like children, begetting rheums and asthmas and all manner of catarrhs? I do beg, Sir Willoughby Townshend, that you will suffer me to die a more natural and civilized death;" and so saying, Russelton sank down into his chair, apparently in the last state of exhaustion.

Sir Willoughby, who remembered the humourist in all his departed glory, and still venerated him as a temple where the deity yet breathed, though the altar was overthrown, made to this extraordinary remonstrance no other reply than a long whiff, and a "Well, Russelton, dash my wig (a favourite oath of Sir W.'s) but you're a queer fellow."

Russelton now turned to me, and invited me, with a tone of the most lady- like languor, to sit down near the fire. As I am naturally of a chilly disposition, and fond, too, of beating people in their own line, I drew a chair close to the hearth, declared the weather was very cold, and rung the bell for some more wood. Russelton started for a moment, and then, with a politeness he had not deigned to exert before, approached his chair to mine, and began a conversation, which, in spite of his bad witticisms, and peculiarity of manner, I found singularly entertaining.

Dinner was announced, and we adjourned to another room—poor Sir Willoughby, with his waistcoat unbuttoned, and breathing like a pug in a phthisis—groaned bitterly, when he discovered that this apartment was smaller and hotter than the one before. Russelton immediately helped him to some scalding soup—and said, as he told the servant to hand Sir Willoughby the cayenne—"you will find this, my dear Townshend, a very sensible potage for this severe season."

Dinner went off tamely enough, with the exception of "our stout friend's" agony, which Russelton enjoyed most luxuriously. The threatened mutton- chops did not make their appearance, and the dinner, though rather too small, was excellently cooked, and better arranged. With the dessert, the poor baronet rose, and pleading sudden indisposition, tottered out of the door.

When he was gone, Russelton threw himself back in his chair, and laughed for several minutes with a loud chuckling sound, till the tears ran down his cheek. "A nice heart you must have!" thought I—(my conclusions of character are always drawn from small propensities).

After a few jests at Sir Willoughby, our conversation turned upon other individuals. I soon saw that Russelton was a soured and disappointed man; his remarks on people were all sarcasms—his mind was overflowed with a suffusion of ill-nature—he bit as well as growled. No man of the world ever, I am convinced, becomes a real philosopher in retirement. People who have been employed for years upon trifles have not the greatness of mind, which could alone make them indifferent to what they have coveted all their lives, as most enviable and important.

"Have you read ____'s memoirs?" said Mr. Russelton. "No! Well, I imagined every one had at least dipped into them. I have often had serious thoughts of dignifying my own retirement, by the literary employment of detailing my adventures in the world. I think I could throw a new light upon things and persons, which my contemporaries will shrink back like owls at perceiving.

"Your life," said I, "must indeed furnish matter of equal instruction and amusement."

"Ay," answered Russelton; "amusement to the fools, but instruction to the knaves. I am, indeed, a lamentable example of the fall of ambition. I brought starch into all the neckcloths in England, and I end by tying my own at a three-inch looking-glass at Calais. You are a young man, Mr. Pelham, about to commence life, probably with the same views as (though greater advantages than) myself; perhaps in indulging my egotism, I shall not weary without recompensing you.

"I came into the world with an inordinate love of glory, and a great admiration of the original; these propensities might have made me a Shakspeare—they did more, they made me a Russelton! When I was six years old, I cut my jacket into a coat, and turned my aunt's best petticoat into a waistcoat. I disdained at eight the language of the vulgar, and when my father asked me to fetch his slippers, I replied, that my soul swelled beyond the limits of a lackey's. At nine, I was self-inoculated with propriety of ideas. I rejected malt with the air of His Majesty, and formed a violent affection for maraschino; though starving at school, I never took twice of pudding, and paid sixpence a week out of my shilling to have my shoes blacked. As I grew up, my notions expanded. I gave myself, without restraint, to the ambition that burnt within me—I cut my old friends, who were rather envious than emulous of my genius, and I employed three tradesmen to make my gloves—one for the hand, a second for the fingers, and a third for the thumb! These two qualities made me courted and admired by a new race—for the great secrets of being courted are to shun others, and seem delighted with yourself. The latter is obvious enough; who the deuce should be pleased with you, if you yourself are not?

"Before I left college I fell in love. Other fellows, at my age, in such a predicament, would have whined—shaved only twice a week, and written verses. I did none of the three—the last indeed I tried, but, to my infinite surprise, I found my genius was not universal. I began with

"'Sweet nymph, for whom I wake my muse.'

"For this, after considerable hammering, I could only think of the rhyme 'shoes'—so I began again,—

"'Thy praise demands much softer lutes.'

"And the fellow of this verse terminated like myself in 'boots.'—Other efforts were equally successful—'bloom' suggested to my imagination no rhyme but 'perfume!'—'despair' only reminded me of my 'hair,'—and 'hope' was met at the end of the second verse, by the inharmonious antithesis of 'soap.' Finding, therefore, that my forte was not in the Pierian line, I redoubled my attention to my dress; I coated, and cravated, and essenced, and oiled, with all the attention the very inspiration of my rhymes seemed to advise;—in short, I thought the best pledge I could give my Dulcinea of my passion for her person, would be to show her what affectionate veneration I could pay to my own.

"My mistress could not withhold from me her admiration, but she denied me her love. She confessed Mr. Russelton was the best dressed man at the University, and had the whitest hands; and two days after this avowal, she ran away with a great rosy-cheeked extract from Leicestershire.

"I did not blame her: I pitied her too much—but I made a vow never to be in love again. In spite of all advantages I kept my oath, and avenged myself on the species for the insult of the individual.

"Before I commenced a part which was to continue through life, I considered deeply on the humours of the spectators. I saw that the character of the English was servile to rank, and yielding to pretension —they admire you for your acquaintance, and cringe to you for your conceit. The first thing, therefore, was to know great people—the second to controul them. I dressed well, and had good horses—that was sufficient to make me sought by the young of my own sex. I talked scandal, and was never abashed—that was more than enough to make me recherche among the matrons of the other. It is single men, and married women, to whom are given the St. Peter's keys of Society. I was soon admitted into its heaven—I was more—I was one of its saints. I became imitated as well as initiated. I was the rage—the lion. Why?—was I better—was I richer—was I handsomer—was I cleverer, than my kind? No, no;—(and here Russelton ground his teeth with a strong and wrathful expression of scorn);—and had I been all—had I been a very concentration and monopoly of all human perfections, they would not have valued me at half the price they did set on me. It was—I will tell you the simple secret, Mr. Pelham—it was because I trampled on them, that, like crushed herbs, they sent up a grateful incense in return.

"Oh! it was balm to my bitter and loathing temper, to see those who would have spurned me from them, if they dared, writhe beneath my lash, as I withheld or inflicted it at will. I was the magician who held the great spirits that longed to tear me to pieces, by one simple spell which a superior hardihood had won me—and, by Heaven, I did not spare to exert it.

"Well, well, this is but an idle recollection now; all human power, says the proverb of every language, is but of short duration. Alexander did not conquer kingdoms for ever; and Russelton's good fortune deserted him at last. Napoleon died in exile, and so shall I; but we have both had our day, and mine was the brightest of the two, for it had no change till the evening. I am more happy than people would think for—Je ne suis pas souvent ou mon corps est—I live in a world of recollections, I trample again upon coronets and ermine, the glories of the small great! I give once more laws which no libertine is so hardy not to feel exalted in adopting; I hold my court, and issue my fiats; I am like the madman, and out of the very straws of my cell, I make my subjects and my realm; and when I wake from these bright visions, and see myself an old, deserted man, forgotten, and decaying inch by inch in a foreign village, I can at least summon sufficient of my ancient regality of spirit not to sink beneath the reverse. If I am inclined to be melancholy, why, I extinguish my fire, and imagine I have demolished a duchess. I steal up to my solitary chamber, to renew again, in my sleep, the phantoms of my youth; to carouse with princes; to legislate for nobles; and to wake in the morning (here Russelton's countenance and manner suddenly changed to an affectation of methodistical gravity,) and thank Heaven that I have still a coat to my stomach, as well as to my back, and that I am safely delivered of such villainous company; 'to forswear sack and live cleanly,' during the rest of my sublunary existence."

After this long detail of Mr. Russelton's, the conversation was but dull and broken. I could not avoid indulging a reverie upon what I had heard, and my host was evidently still revolving the recollections his narration had conjured up; we sat opposite each other for several minutes as abstracted and distracted as if we had been a couple two months married; till at last I rose, and tendered my adieus. Russelton received them with his usual coldness, but more than his usual civility, for he followed me to the door.

Just as they were about to shut it, he called me back. "Mr. Pelham," said he, "Mr. Pelham, when you come back this way, do look in upon me, and— and as you will be going a good deal into society, just find out what people say of my manner of life!" [It will be perceived by those readers who are kind or patient enough to reach the conclusion of this work, that Russelton is specified as one of my few dramatis personae of which only the first outline is taken from real life: all the rest—all, indeed, which forms and marks the character thus briefly delineated, is drawn solely from imagination.]


             An old worshipful gentleman, that had a great estate,
             And kept a brave old house at a hospitable rate.
                          —Old Song.

I think I may, without much loss to the reader, pass in silence over my voyage, the next day, to Dover. (Horrible reminiscence!) I may also spare him an exact detail of all the inns and impositions between that sea-port and London; nor will it be absolutely necessary to the plot of this history, to linger over every mile-stone between the metropolis and Glenmorris Castle, where my uncle and my mother were impatiently awaiting the arrival of the candidate to be.

It was a fine bright evening when my carriage entered the park. I had not seen the place for years; and I felt my heart swell with something like family pride, as I gazed on the magnificent extent of hill and plain that opened upon me, as I passed the ancient and ivy-covered lodge. Large groups of trees, scattered on either side, seemed, in their own antiquity, the witness of that of the family which had given them existence. The sun set on the waters which lay gathered in a lake at the foot of the hill, breaking the waves into unnumbered sapphires, and tinging the dark firs that overspread the margin, with a rich and golden light, that put me excessively in mind of the Duke of—'s livery.

When I descended at the gate, the servants, who stood arranged in an order so long that it almost startled me, received me with a visible gladness and animation, which shewed me, at one glance, the old fashioned tastes of their master. Who, in these days, ever inspires his servants with a single sentiment of regard or interest for himself or his whole race? That tribe one never, indeed, considers as possessing a life separate from their services to us: beyond that purpose of existence, we know not even if they exist. As Providence made the stars for the benefit of earth, so it made servants for the use of gentlemen; and, as neither stars nor servants appear except when we want them, so I suppose they are in a sort of suspense from being, except at those important and happy moments.

To return—for if I have any fault, it is too great a love for abstruse speculation and reflection—I was formally ushered through a great hall, hung round with huge antlers and rusty armour, through a lesser one, supported by large stone columns, and without any other adornment than the arms of the family; then through an anti-room, covered with tapestry, representing the gallantries of King Solomon to the Queen of Sheba; and lastly, into the apartment honoured by the august presence of Lord Glenmorris. That personage was dividing the sofa with three spaniels and a setter; he rose hastily when I was announced, and then checking the first impulse which hurried him, perhaps, into an unseemly warmth of salutation, held out his hand with a pompous air of kindly protection, and while he pressed mine, surveyed me from head to foot to see how far my appearance justified his condescension.

Having, at last, satisfied himself, he proceeded to inquire after the state of my appetite. He smiled benignantly when I confessed that I was excessively well prepared to testify its capacities (the first idea of all kind-hearted, old-fashioned people, is to stuff you), and, silently motioning to the grey-headed servant who stood in attendance, till receiving the expected sign, he withdrew, Lord Glenmorris informed me that dinner was over for every one but myself, that for me it would be prepared in an instant, that Mr. Toolington had expired four days since, that my mother was, at that moment, canvassing for me, and that my own electioneering qualities were to open their exhibition with the following day.

After this communication there was a short pause. "What a beautiful place this is!" said I, with great enthusiasm. Lord Glenmorris was pleased with the compliment, simple as it was.

"Yes," said he, "it is, and I have made it still more so than you have yet been able to perceive."

"You have been planting, probably, on the other side of the park?"

"No," said my uncle, smiling; "Nature had done every thing for this spot when I came to it, but one, and the addition of that one ornament is the only real triumph which art ever can achieve."

"What is it?" asked I; "oh, I know—water."

"You are mistaken," answered Lord Glenmorris; "it is the ornament of— happy faces."

I looked up to my uncle's countenance in sudden surprise. I cannot explain how I was struck with the expression which it wore: so calmly bright and open!—it was as if the very daylight had settled there.

"You don't understand this at present, Henry," said he, after a moment's silence; "but you will find it, of all rules for the improvement of property, the easiest to learn. Enough of this now. Were you not au desespoir at leaving Paris?"

"I should have been, some months ago; but when I received my mother's summons, I found the temptations of the continent very light in comparison with those held out to me here."

"What, have you already arrived at that great epoch, when vanity casts off its first skin, and ambition succeeds to pleasure? Why—but thank Heaven that you have lost my moral—your dinner is announced."

Most devoutly did I thank Heaven, and most earnestly did I betake myself to do honour to my uncle's hospitality.

I had just finished my repast, when my mother entered. She was, as you might well expect from her maternal affection, quite overpowered with joy, first, at finding my hair grown so much darker, and, secondly, at my looking so well. We spent the whole evening in discussing the great business for which I had been summoned. Lord Glenmorris promised me money, and my mother advice; and I, in my turn, enchanted them, by promising to make the best use of both.


             Cor. Your good voice, Sir—what say you?
             2nd Cit. You shall have it, worthy Sir.

The borough of Buyemall had long been in undisputed possession of the lords of Glenmorris, till a rich banker, of the name of Lufton, had bought a large estate in the immediate neighbourhood of Glenmorris Castle. This event, which was the precursor of a mighty revolution in the borough of Buyemall, took place in the first year of my uncle's accession to his property. A few months afterwards, a vacancy in the borough occurring, my uncle procured the nomination of one of his own political party. To the great astonishment of Lord Glenmorris, and the great gratification of the burghers of Buyemall, Mr. Lufton offered himself in opposition to the Glenmorris candidate. In this age of enlightenment, innovation has no respect for the most sacred institutions of antiquity. The burghers, for the only time since their creation as a body, were cast first into doubt, and secondly into rebellion. The Lufton faction, horresco referens, were triumphant, and the rival candidate was returned. From that hour the Borough of Buyemall was open to all the world.

My uncle, who was a good easy man, and had some strange notions of free representation, and liberty of election, professed to care very little for this event. He contented himself henceforward, with exerting his interest for one of the members, and left the other seat entirely at the disposal of the line of Lufton, which, from the time of the first competition, continued peaceably to monopolize it.

During the last two years, my uncle's candidate, the late Mr. Toolington, had been gradually dying of a dropsy, and the Luftons had been so particularly attentive to the honest burghers, that it was shrewdly suspected a bold push was to be made for the other seat. During the last month these doubts were changed into certainty. Mr. Augustus Leopold Lufton, eldest son to Benjamin Lufton, Esq., had publicly declared his intention of starting at the decease of Mr. Toolington; against this personage, behold myself armed and arrayed.

Such is, in brief, the history of the borough, up to the time in which I was to take a prominent share in its interests and events.

On the second day after my arrival at the castle, the following advertisement appeared at Buyemall:—

"To the Independent Electors of the Borough of Buyemall.


"In presenting myself to your notice, I advance a claim not altogether new and unfounded. My family have for centuries been residing amongst you, and exercising that interest which reciprocal confidence, and good offices may fairly create. Should it be my good fortune to be chosen your representative, you may rely upon my utmost endeavours to deserve that honour. One word upon the principles I espouse: they are those which have found their advocates among the wisest and the best; they are those which, hostile alike to the encroachments of the crown, and the licentiousness of the people, would support the real interest of both. Upon these grounds, gentlemen, I have the honour to solicit your votes; and it is with the sincerest respect for your ancient and honourable body, that I subscribe myself your very obedient servant,

"Henry Pelham."

"Glenmorris Castle,"

Such was the first public signification of my intentions; it was drawn up by Mr. Sharpon, our lawyer, and considered by our friends as a masterpiece: for, as my mother sagely observed, it did not commit me in a single instance—espoused no principle, and yet professed what all parties would allow was the best.

At the first house where I called, the proprietor was a clergyman of good family, who had married a lady from Baker-street: of course the Reverend Combermere St. Quintin and his wife valued themselves upon being "genteel." I arrived at an unlucky moment; on entering the hall, a dirty footboy was carrying a yellow-ware dish of potatoes into the back room. Another Ganymede (a sort of footboy major), who opened the door, and who was still settling himself into his coat, which he had slipped on at my tintinnabulary summons, ushered me with a mouth full of bread and cheese into this said back room. I gave up every thing as lost, when I entered, and saw the lady helping her youngest child to some ineffable trash, which I have since heard is called "blackberry pudding." Another of the tribe was bawling out, with a loud, hungry tone—"A tatoe, pa!" The father himself was carving for the little group, with a napkin stuffed into the top button-hole of his waistcoat, and the mother, with a long bib, plentifully bespattered with congealing gravy, and the nectarean liquor of the "blackberry pudding," was sitting, with a sort of presiding complacency, on a high stool, like Jupiter on Olympus, enjoying rather than stilling the confused hubbub of the little domestic deities, who eat, clattered, spattered, and squabbled around her.

Amidst all this din and confusion, the candidate for the borough of Buyemall was ushered into the household privacy of the genteel Mr. and Mrs. St. Quintin. Up started the lady at the sound of my name. The Reverend Combermere St. Quintin seemed frozen into stone. The plate between the youngest child and the blackberry-pudding, stood as still as the sun in Ajalon. The morsel between the mouth of the elder boy and his fork had a respite from mastication. The Seven Sleepers could not have been spell-bound more suddenly and completely.

"Ah!" cried I, advancing eagerly, with an air of serious and yet abrupt gladness; "how deuced lucky that I should find you all at luncheon. I was up and had finished breakfast so early this morning, that I am half famished. Only think how fortunate, Hardy (turning round to one of the members of my committee, who accompanied me); I was just saying what would I not give to find Mr. St. Quintin at luncheon. Will you allow me, Madam, to make one of your party?"

Mrs. St. Quintin coloured, and faltered, and muttered out something which I was fully resolved not to hear. I took a chair, looked round the table, not too attentively, and said—"Cold veal; ah! ah! nothing I like so much. May I trouble you, Mr. St. Quintin?—Hollo, my little man, let's see if you can't give me a potatoe. There's a brave fellow. How old are you, my young hero?—to look at your mother, I should say two; to look at you, six."

"He is four next May," said his mother, colouring, and this time not painfully.

"Indeed!" said I, surveying him earnestly; and then, in a graver tone, I turned to the Reverend Combermere with—"I think you have a branch of your family still settled in France. I met Monsieur St. Quintin, the Due de Poictiers, abroad."

"Yes," said Mr. Combermere, "yes, the name is still in Normandy, but I was not aware of the title."

"No!" said I, with surprise; "and yet (with another look at the boy), it is astonishing how long family likenesses last. I was a great favourite with all the Duc's children. Do you know, I must trouble you for some more veal, it is so very good, and I am so very hungry."

"How long have you been abroad?" said Mrs. St. Quintin, who had slipped off her bib, and smoothed her ringlets; for which purposes I had been most adroitly looking in an opposite direction the last three minutes.

"About seven or eight months. The fact is, that the continent only does for us English people to see—not to inhabit; and yet, there are some advantages there, Mr. St. Quintin!—Among others, that of the due respect ancient birth is held in. Here, you know, 'money makes the man,' as the vulgar proverb has it."

"Yes," said Mr. St. Quintin, with a sigh, "it is really dreadful to see those upstarts rising around us, and throwing every thing that is respectable and ancient into the back ground. Dangerous times these, Mr. Pelham—dangerous times; nothing but innovation upon the most sacred institutions. I am sure, Mr. Pelham, that your principles must be decidedly against these new-fashioned doctrines, which lead to nothing but anarchy and confusion—absolutely nothing."

"I'm delighted to find you so much of my opinion!" said I. "I cannot endure any thing that leads to anarchy and confusion."

Here Mr. Combermere glanced at his wife—who rose, called to the children, and, accompanied by them, gracefully withdrew.

"Now then," said Mr. Combermere, drawing his chair nearer to me,—"now, Mr. Pelham, we can discuss these matters. Women are no politicians,"—and at this sage aphorism, the Rev. Combermere laughed a low solemn laugh, which could have come from no other lips. After I had joined in this grave merriment for a second or two—I hemmed thrice, and with a countenance suited to the subject and the hosts, plunged at once in medias res.

"Mr. St. Quintin," said I, "you are already aware, I think, of my intention of offering myself as a candidate for the borough of Buyemall. I could not think of such a measure, without calling upon you, the very first person, to solicit the honour of your vote." Mr. Combermere looked pleased, and prepared to reply. "You are the very first person I called upon," repeated I.

Mr. Combermere smiled. "Well, Mr. Pelham," said he, "our families have long been on the most intimate footing."

"Ever since" cried I, "ever since Henry the Seventh's time have the houses of St. Quintin and Glenmorris been allied. Your ancestors, you know, were settled in the county before our's, and my mother assures me that she has read in some old book or another, a long account of your forefather's kind reception of mine at the castle of St. Quintin. I do trust, Sir, that we have done nothing to forfeit a support so long afforded us."

Mr. St. Quintin bowed in speechless gratification; at length he found voice. "But your principles, Mr. Pelham?"

"Quite your's, my dear Sir: quite against anarchy and confusion."

"But the catholic question, Mr. Pelham?"

"Oh! the catholic question," repeated I, "is a question of great importance; it won't be carried—no, Mr. St. Quintin, no, it won't be carried; how did you think, my dear Sir, that I could, in so great a question, act against my conscience?"

I said this with warmth, and Mr. St. Quintin was either too convinced or too timid to pursue so dangerous a topic any further. I blessed my stars when he paused, and not giving him time to think of another piece of debateable ground, continued, "Yes, Mr. St. Quintin, I called upon you the very first person. Your rank in the county, your ancient birth, to be sure, demanded it; but I only considered the long, long time the St. Quintins and Pelhams had been connected."

"Well," said the Rev. Combermere, "well, Mr. Pelham, you shall have my support; and I wish, from my very heart, all success to a young gentleman of such excellent principles."


More voices!

             Sic. How now, my masters, have you chosen him?
             Cit. He has our voices, Sir!

From Mr. Combermere St. Quintin's, we went to a bluff, hearty, radical wine-merchant, whom I had very little probability of gaining; but my success with the clerical Armado had inspirited me, and I did not suffer myself to fear, though I could scarcely persuade myself to hope. How exceedingly impossible it is, in governing men, to lay down positive rules, even where we know the temper of the individual to be gained. "You must be very stiff and formal with the St. Quintins," said my mother. She was right in the general admonition, and had I found them all seated in the best drawing-room, Mrs. St. Quintin in her best attire, and the children on their best behaviour, I should have been as stately as Don Quixote in a brocade dressing-gown; but finding them in such dishabille, I could not affect too great a plainness and almost coarseness of bearing, as if I had never been accustomed to any thing more refined than I found there; nor might I, by any appearance of pride in myself, put them in mind of the wound their own pride had received. The difficulty was to blend with this familiarity a certain respect, just the same as a French ambassador might have testified towards the august person of George the Third, had he found his Majesty at dinner at one o'clock, over mutton and turnips.

In overcoming this difficulty, I congratulated myself with as much zeal and fervour as if I had performed the most important victory; for, whether it be innocent or sanguinary, in war or at an election, there is no triumph so gratifying to the viciousness of human nature, as the conquest of our fellow beings.

But I must return to my wine-merchant, Mr. Briggs. His house was at the entrance of the town of Buyemall; it stood inclosed in a small garden, flaming with crocuses and sunflowers, and exhibiting an arbour to the right, where, in the summer evenings, the respectable owner might be seen, with his waistcoat unbuttoned, in order to give that just and rational liberty to the subordinate parts of the human commonwealth which the increase of their consequence after the hour of dinner, naturally demands. Nor, in those moments of dignified ease, was the worthy burgher without the divine inspirations of complacent contemplation which the weed of Virginia bestoweth. There as he smoked and puffed, and looked out upon the bright crocuses, and meditated over the dim recollections of the hesternal journal, did Mr. Briggs revolve in his mind the vast importance of the borough of Buyemall to the British empire, and the vast importance of John Briggs to the borough of Buyemall.

When I knocked at the door a prettyish maidservant opened it with a smile, and a glance which the vender of wine might probably have taught her himself after too large potations of his own spirituous manufactories. I was ushered into a small parlour—where sat, sipping brandy and water, a short, stout, monosyllabic sort of figure, corresponding in outward shape to the name of Briggs—even unto a very nicety.

"Mr. Pelham," said this gentleman, who was dressed in a brown coat, white waistcoat, buff-coloured inexpressibles, with long strings, and gaiters of the same hue and substance as the breeches—"Mr. Pelham, pray be seated—excuse my rising, I'm like the bishop in the story, Mr. Pelham, too old to rise;" and Mr. Briggs grunted out a short, quick, querulous, "he—he—he," to which, of course, I replied to the best of my cachinnatory powers.

No sooner, however, did I begin to laugh, than Mr. Briggs stopped short— eyed me with a sharp, suspicious glance—shook his head, and pushed back his chair at least four feet from the spot it had hitherto occupied. Ominous signs, thought I—I must sound this gentleman a little further, before I venture to treat him as the rest of his species.

"You have a nice situation here, Mr. Briggs," said I.

"Ah, Mr. Pelham, and a nice vote too, which is somewhat more to your purpose, I believe."

'Oh!' thought I, 'I see through you now, Mr. Briggs!'—you must not be too civil to one who suspects you are going to be civil, in order to take him in.

"Why," said I, "Mr. Briggs, to be frank with you, I do call upon you for the purpose of requesting your vote; give it me, or not, just as you please. You may be sure I shall not make use of the vulgar electioneering arts to coax gentlemen out of their votes. I ask you for your's as one freeman solicits another: if you think my opponent a fitter person to represent your borough, give your support to him in God's name: if not, and you place confidence in me, I will, at least, endeavour not to betray it."

"Well done, Mr. Pelham," exclaimed Mr. Briggs: "I love candour—you speak just after my own heart; but you must be aware that one does not like to be bamboozled out of one's right of election, by a smooth-tongued fellow, who sends one to the devil the moment the election is over—or still worse, to be frightened out of it by some stiff-necked proud coxcomb, with his pedigree in his hand, and his acres in his face, thinking he does you a marvellous honour to ask you at all. Sad times these for this free country, Mr. Pelham, when a parcel of conceited paupers, like Parson Quinny (as I call that reverend fool, Mr. Combermere St. Quintin), imagine they have a right to dictate to warm, honest men, who can buy their whole family out and out. I tell you what, Mr. Pelham, we shall never do anything for this country till we get rid of those landed aristocrats, with their ancestry and humbug. I hope you're of my mind, Mr. Pelham."

"Why," answered I, "there is certainly nothing so respectable in Great Britain as our commercial interest. A man who makes himself is worth a thousand men made by their forefathers."

"Very true, Mr. Pelham," said the wine-merchant, advancing his chair to me, and then laying a short, thickset finger upon my arm—he looked up in my face with an investigating air, and said:—"Parliamentary Reform—what do you say to that? you're not an advocate for ancient abuses, and modern corruption, I hope, Mr. Pelham?"

"By no means," cried I, with an honest air of indignation—"I have a conscience, Mr. Briggs, I have a conscience as a public man, no less than as a private one!"

"Admirable!" cried my host.

"No," I continued, glowing as I proceeded, "no, Mr. Briggs; I disdain to talk too much about my principles before they are tried; the proper time to proclaim them is when they have effected some good by being put into action. I won't supplicate your vote, Mr. Briggs, as my opponent may do; there must be a mutual confidence between my supporters and myself. When I appear before you a second time, you will have a right to see how far I have wronged that trust reposed in me as your representative. Mr. Briggs, I dare say it may seem rude and impolitic to address you in this manner; but I am a plain, blunt man, and I disdain the vulgar arts of electioneering, Mr. Briggs."

"Give us your fist, old boy," cried the wine merchant, in a transport; "give us your fist; I promise you my support, and I am delighted to vote for a young gentleman of such excellent principles."

So much, dear reader, for Mr. Briggs, who became from that interview my staunchest supporter. I will not linger longer upon this part of my career; the above conversations may serve as a sufficient sample of my electioneering qualifications: and so I shall merely add, that after the due quantum of dining, drinking, spouting, lying, equivocating, bribing, rioting, head-breaking, promise-breaking, and—thank the god Mercury, who presides over elections—chairing of successful candidateship, I found myself fairly chosen member for the borough of Buyemall.


           Political education is like the keystone to the arch
           —the strength of the whole depends upon it.
                          —Encycl. Britt. Sup. Art. "Education."

I was sitting in the library of Glenmorris Castle, about a week after all the bustle of contest and the eclat of victory had began to subside, and quietly dallying with the dry toast, which constituted then, and does to this day, my ordinary breakfast, when I was accosted by the following speech from my uncle.

"Henry, your success has opened to you a new career: I trust you intend to pursue it?"

"Certainly," was my answer.

"But you know, my dear Henry, that though you have great talents, which, I confess, I was surprised in the course of the election to discover, yet they want that careful cultivation, which, in order to shine in the House of Commons, they must receive. Entre nous, Henry; a litle reading would do you no harm."

"Very well," said I, "suppose I begin with Walter Scott's novels; I am told they are extremely entertaining."

"True," answered my uncle, "but they don't contain the most accurate notions of history, or the soundest principles of political philosophy in the world. What did you think of doing to-day, Henry?"

"Nothing!" said I very innocently.

"I should conceive that to be an usual answer of yours, Henry, to any similar question."

"I think it is," replied I, with great naivete.

"Well, then, let us have the breakfast things taken away, and do something this morning."

"Willingly," said I, ringing the bell.

The table was cleared, and my uncle began his examination. Little, poor man, had he thought, from my usual bearing and the character of my education, that in general literature there were few subjects on which I was not to the full as well read as himself. I enjoyed his surprise, when little by little he began to discover the extent of my information, but I was mortified to find it was only surprise, not delight.

"You have," said he, "a considerable store of learning; far more than I could possibly have imagined you possessed; but it is knowledge not learning, in which I wish you to be skilled. I would rather, in order to gift you with the former, that you were more destitute of the latter. The object of education, is to instil principles which are hereafter to guide and instruct us; facts are only desirable, so far as they illustrate those principles; principles ought therefore to precede facts! What then can we think of a system which reverses this evident order, overloads the memory with facts, and those of the most doubtful description, while it leaves us entirely in the dark with regard to the principles which could alone render this heterogeneous mass of any advantage or avail? Learning without knowledge, is but a bundle of prejudices; a lumber of inert matter set before the threshold of the understanding to the exclusion of common sense. Pause for a moment, and recal those of your contemporaries, who are generally considered well-informed; tell me if their information has made them a whit the wiser; if not, it is only sanctified ignorance. Tell me if names with them are not a sanction for opinion; quotations, the representatives of axioms? All they have learned only serves as an excuse for all they are ignorant of. In one month, I will engage that you shall have a juster and deeper insight into wisdom, than they have been all their lives acquiring; the great error of education is to fill the mind first with antiquated authors, and then to try the principles of the present day by the authorities and maxims of the past. We will pursue for our plan, the exact reverse of the ordinary method. We will learn the doctrines of the day, as the first and most necessary step, and we will then glance over those which have passed away, as researches rather curious than useful.

"You see this very small pamphlet; it is a paper by Mr. Mills, upon Government. We will know this thoroughly, and when we have done so, we may rest assured that we have a far more accurate information upon the head and front of all political knowledge, than two-thirds of the young men whose cultivation of mind you have usually heard panegyrized."

So saying, my uncle opened the pamphlet. He pointed out to me its close and mathematical reasoning, in which no flaw could be detected, nor deduction controverted: and he filled up, as we proceeded, from the science of his own clear and enlarged mind, the various parts which the political logician had left for reflection to complete. My uncle had this great virtue of an expositor, that he never over-explained; he never made a parade of his lecture, nor confused what was simple by unnecessary comment.

When we broke off our first day's employment, I was quite astonished at the new light which had gleamed upon me. I felt like Sinbad, the sailor, when, in wandering through the cavern in which he had been buried alive, he caught the first glimpse of the bright day. Naturally eager in every thing I undertook, fond of application, and addicted to reflect over the various bearings of any object that once engrossed my attention, I made great advance in my new pursuit. After my uncle had brought me to be thoroughly conversant with certain and definite principles, we proceeded to illustrate them from fact. For instance, when we had finished the "Essay upon Government," we examined into the several constitutions of England, British America, and France; the three countries which pretend the most to excellence in their government: and we were enabled to perceive and judge the defects and merits of each, because we had, previous to our examination, established certain rules, by which they were to be investigated and tried. Here my sceptical indifference to facts was my chief reason for readily admitting knowledge. I had no prejudices to contend with; no obscure notions gleaned from the past; no popular maxims cherished as truths. Every thing was placed before me as before a wholly impartial inquirer—freed from all the decorations and delusions of sects and parties, every argument was stated with logical precision—every opinion referred to a logical test. Hence, in a very short time, I owned the justice of my uncle's assurance, as to the comparative concentration of knowledge. We went over the whole of Mills's admirable articles in the encyclopaedia, over the more popular works of Bentham, and thence we plunged into the recesses of political economy. I know not why this study has been termed uninteresting. No sooner had I entered upon its consideration, than I could scarcely tear myself from it. Never from that moment to this have I ceased to pay it the most constant attention, not so much as a study as an amusement; but at that time my uncle's object was not to make me a profound political economist. "I wish," said he, "merely to give you an acquaintance with the principles of the science; not that you may be entitled to boast of knowledge, but that you may be enabled to avoid ignorance; not that you may discover truth, but that you may detect error. Of all sciences, political economy is contained in the fewest books, and yet is the most difficult to master; because all its higher branches require earnestness of reflection, proportioned to the scantiness of reading. Mrs. Marsett's elementary work, together with some conversational enlargement on the several topics she treats of, will be enough for our present purpose. I wish, then, to show you, how inseparably allied is the great science of public policy with that of private morality. And this, Henry, is the grandest object of all. Now to our present study."

Well, gentle Reader, (I love, by the by, as you already perceive, that old-fashioned courtesy of addressing you)—well, to finish this part of my life which, as it treats rather of my attempts at reformation than my success in error, must begin to weary you exceedingly, I acquired, more from my uncle's conversation than the books we read, a sufficient acquaintance with the elements of knowledge, to satisfy myself, and to please my instructor. And I must say, in justification of my studies and my tutor, that I derived one benefit from them which has continued with me to this hour—viz. I obtained a clear knowledge of moral principle. Before that time, the little ability I possessed only led me into acts, which, I fear, most benevolent Reader, thou hast already sufficiently condemned: my good feelings—for I was not naturally bad—never availed me the least when present temptation came into my way. I had no guide but passion; no rule but the impulse of the moment. What else could have been the result of my education? If I was immoral, it was because I was never taught morality. Nothing, perhaps, is less innate than virtue. I own that the lessons of my uncle did not work miracles—that, living in the world, I have not separated myself from its errors and its follies: the vortex was too strong—the atmosphere too contagious; but I have at least avoided the crimes into which my temper would most likely have driven me. I ceased to look upon the world as a game one was to play fairly, if possible—but where a little cheating was readily allowed; I no longer divorced the interests of other men from my own: if I endeavoured to blind them, it was neither by unlawful means, nor for a purely selfish end:—if—but come, Henry Pelham, thou hast praised thyself enough for the present; and, after all, thy future adventures will best tell if thou art really amended.


                          Mihi jam non regia Roma,
                   Sed vacuum Tibur placet.

"My dear child," said my mother to me, affectionately, "you must be very much bored here, pour dire vrai, I am so myself. Your uncle is a very good man, but he does not make his house pleasant; and I have, lately, been very much afraid that he should convert you into a mere bookworm; after all, my dear Henry, you are quite clever enough to trust to your own ability. Your great geniuses never read."

"True, my dear mother," said I, with a most unequivocal yawn, and depositing on the table Mr. Bentham upon Popular Fallacies; "true, and I am quite of your opinion. Did you see in the Post of this morning, how full Cheltenham was?"

"Yes, Henry; and now you mention it, I don't think you could do better than to go there for a month or two. As for me, I must return to your father, whom I left at Lord H—'s: a place, entre nous, very little more amusing than this—but then one does get one's ecarte table, and that dear Lady Roseville, your old acquaintance, is staying there."

"Well," said I, musingly, "suppose we take our departure the beginning of next week?—our way will be the same as far as London, and the plea of attending you will be a good excuse to my uncle, for proceeding no farther in these confounded books."

"C'est une affaire finie," replied my mother, "and I will speak to your uncle myself."

Accordingly the necessary disclosure of our intentions was made. Lord Glenmorris received it with proper indifference, so far as my mother was concerned; but expressed much pain at my leaving him so soon. However, when he found I was not so much gratified as honoured by his wishes for my longer sejour, he gave up the point with a delicacy that enchanted me.

The morning of our departure arrived. Carriage at the door—bandboxes in the passage—breakfast on the table—myself in my great coat—my uncle in his great chair. "My dear boy," said he, "I trust we shall meet again soon: you have abilities that may make you capable of effecting much good to your fellow-creatures; but you are fond of the world, and, though not averse to application, devoted to pleasure, and likely to pervert the gifts you possess. At all events, you have now learned, both as a public character and a private individual, the difference between good and evil. Make but this distinction, that whereas, in political science, though the rules you have learned be fixed and unerring, yet the application of them must vary with time and circumstance. We must bend, temporize, and frequently withdraw, doctrines, which, invariable in their truth, the prejudices of the time will not invariably allow, and even relinquish a faint hope of obtaining a great good, for the certainty of obtaining a lesser; yet in the science of private morals, which relate for the main part to ourselves individually, we have no right to deviate one single iota from the rule of our conduct. Neither time nor circumstance must cause us to modify or to change. Integrity knows no variation; honesty no shadow of turning. We must pursue the same course—stern and uncompromising—in the full persuasion that the path of right is like the bridge from earth to heaven, in the Mahometan creed—if we swerve but a single hair's breadth, we are irrevocably lost."

At this moment my mother joined us, with a "Well, my dear Henry, every thing is ready—we have no time to lose."

My uncle rose, pressed my hand, and left in it a pocket-book, which I afterwards discovered to be most satisfactorily furnished. We took an edifying and affectionate farewell of each other, passed through the two rows of servants, drawn up in martial array, along the great hall, entered the carriage, and went off with the rapidity of a novel upon "fashionable life."


                        Dic—si grave non est—
                   Quae prima iratum ventrem placaverit esca.

I did not remain above a day or two in town. I had never seen much of the humours of a watering-place, and my love of observing character made me exceedingly impatient for that pleasure. Accordingly, the first bright morning I set off for Cheltenham. I was greatly struck with the entrance to that town: it is to these watering-places that a foreigner should be taken, in order to give him an adequate idea of the magnificent opulence, and universal luxury, of England. Our country has, in every province, what France only has in Paris—a capital, consecrated to gaiety, idleness, and enjoyment. London is both too busy in one class of society, and too pompous in another, to please a foreigner, who has not excellent recommendations to private circles. But at Brighton, Cheltenham, Hastings, Bath, he may, as at Paris, find all the gaieties of society without knowing a single individual.

My carriage stopped at the—Hotel. A corpulent and stately waiter, with gold buckles to a pair of very tight pantaloons, showed me up stairs. I found myself in a tolerable room facing the street, and garnished with two pictures of rocks and rivers, with a comely flight of crows, hovering in the horizon of both, as natural as possible, only they were a little larger than the trees. Over the chimney-piece, where I had fondly hoped to find a looking-glass, was a grave print of General Washington, with one hand stuck out like the spout of a tea-pot. Between the two windows (unfavourable position!) was an oblong mirror, to which I immediately hastened, and had the pleasure of seeing my complexion catch the colour of the curtains that overhung the glass on each side, and exhibit the pleasing rurality of a pale green.

I shrunk back aghast, turned, and beheld the waiter. Had I seen myself in a glass delicately shaded by rose-hued curtains, I should gently and smilingly have said, "Have the goodness to bring me the bill of fare." As it was, I growled out, "Bring me the bill, and be d—d to you."

The stiff waiter bowed solemnly, and withdrew slowly. I looked round the room once more, and discovered the additional adornments of a tea-urn, and a book. "Thank Heaven," thought I, as I took up the latter, "it can't be one of Jeremy Bentham's." No! it was the Cheltenham Guide. I turned to the head of amusements—"Dress ball at the rooms every—" some day or other—which of the seven I utterly forget; but it was the same as that which witnessed my first arrival in the small drawing-room of the—Hotel.

"Thank Heaven!" said I to myself, as Bedos entered with my things, and was ordered immediately to have all in preparation for "the dressball at the rooms," at the hour of half-past ten. The waiter entered with the bill. "Soups, chops, cutlets, steaks, roast joints, birds."

"Get some soup," said I, "a slice or two of lion, and half a dozen birds."

"Sir," said the solemn waiter, "you can't have less than a whole lion, and we have only two birds in the house."

"Pray," asked I, "are you in the habit of supplying your larder from
Exeter 'Change, or do you breed lions here like poultry?"

"Sir," answered the grim waiter, never relaxing into a smile, "we have lions brought us from the country every day."

"What do you pay for them?" said I.

"About three and sixpence a-piece, Sir."

"Humph!—market in Africa overstocked," thought I.

"Pray, how do you dress an animal of that description?"

"Roast and stuff him, Sir, and serve him up with currant jelly."

"What! like a hare?"

"It is a hare, Sir."


"Yes, Sir, it is a hare! [Note: I have since learned, that this custom of calling a hare a lion is not peculiar to Cheltenham. At that time I was utterly unacquainted with the regulations of the London coffee-houses.]— but we call it a lion, because of the Game Laws."

'Bright discovery,' thought I; 'they have a new language in Cheltenham: nothing's like travelling to enlarge the mind.' "And the birds," said I, aloud, "are neither humming birds, nor ostriches, I suppose?"

"No, Sir; they are partridges."

"Well, then, give me some soup; a cotelette de mouton, and a 'bird,' as you term it, and be quick about it."

"It shall be done with dispatch," answered the pompous attendant, and withdrew.

Is there, in the whole course of this pleasant and varying life, which young gentlemen and ladies write verses to prove same and sorrowful,—is there, in the whole course of it, one half-hour really and genuinely disagreeable?—if so, it is the half-hour before dinner at a strange inn. Nevertheless, by the help of philosophy and the window, I managed to endure it with great patience: and though I was famishing with hunger, I pretended the indifference of a sage, even when the dinner was at length announced. I coquetted a whole minute with my napkin, before I attempted the soup, and I helped myself to the potatory food with a slow dignity that must have perfectly won the heart of the solemn waiter. The soup was a little better than hot water, and the sharp sauced cotelette than leather and vinegar; howbeit, I attacked them with the vigour of an Irishman, and washed them down with a bottle of the worst liquor ever dignified with the venerabile nomen of claret. The bird was tough enough to have passed for an ostrich in miniature; and I felt its ghost hopping about the stomachic sepulchre to which I consigned it, the whole of that evening and a great portion of the next day, when a glass of curacoa laid it at rest.

After this splendid repast, I flung myself back on my chair with the complacency of a man who has dined well, and dozed away the time till the hour of dressing.

"Now," thought I, as I placed myself before my glass, "shall I gently please, or sublimely astonish the 'fashionables' of Cheltenham? Ah, bah! the latter school is vulgar, Byron spoilt it. Don't put out that chain, Bedos—I wear—the black coat, waistcoat, and trowsers. Brush my hair as much out of curl as you can, and give an air of graceful negligence to my tout ensemble."

"Oui, Monsieur, je comprends," answered Bedos.

I was soon dressed, for it is the design, not the execution, of all great undertakings which requires deliberation and delay. Action cannot be too prompt. A chair was called, and Henry Pelham was conveyed to the rooms.


             Now see, prepared to lead the sprightly dance,
             The lovely nymphs, and well dressed youths advance:
             The spacious room receives its jovial guest,
             And the floor shakes with pleasing weight oppressed.
                          —Art of Dancing.

             Page. His name, my lord, is Tyrrell.
                          —Richard III.

Upon entering, I saw several heads rising and sinking, to the tune of "Cherry ripe." A whole row of stiff necks, in cravats of the most unexceptionable length and breadth, were just before me. A tall thin young man, with dark wiry hair brushed on one side, was drawing on a pair of white Woodstock gloves, and affecting to look round the room with the supreme indifference of bon ton.

"Ah, Ritson," said another young Cheltenhamian to him of the Woodstock gauntlets, "hav'n't you been dancing yet?"

"No, Smith, 'pon honour!" answered Mr. Ritson; "it is so overpoweringly hot; no fashionable man dances now;—it isn't the thing."

"Why," replied Mr. Smith, who was a good-natured looking person, with a blue coat and brass buttons, a gold pin in his neckcloth, and kneebreeches, "why, they dance at Almack's, don't they?"

"No, 'pon honour," murmured Mr. Ritson; "no, they just walk a quadrille or spin a waltz, as my friend, Lord Bobadob, calls it, nothing more—no, hang dancing, 'tis so vulgar."

A stout, red-faced man, about thirty, with wet auburn hair, a marvellously fine waistcoat, and a badly-washed frill, now joined Messrs. Ritson and Smith.

"Ah, Sir Ralph," cried Smith, "how d'ye do? been hunting all day, I suppose?"

"Yes, old cock," replied Sir Ralph; "been after the brush till I am quite done up; such a glorious run. By G—, you should have seen my grey mare, Smith; by G—, she's a glorious fencer."

"You don't hunt, do you, Ritson?" interrogated Mr. Smith.

"Yes, I do," replied Mr. Ritson, affectedly playing with his Woodstock glove; "yes, but I only hunt in Leicestershire with my friend, Lord Bobadob; 'tis not the thing to hunt any where else, 'tis so vulgar."

Sir Ralph stared at the speaker with mute contempt: while Mr. Smith, like the ass between the hay, stood balancing betwixt the opposing merits of the baronet and the beau. Meanwhile, a smiling, nodding, affected female thing, in ringlets and flowers, flirted up to the trio.

"Now, reelly, Mr. Smith, you should deence; a feeshionable young man, like you—I don't know what the young leedies will say to you." And the fair seducer laughed bewitchingly.

"You are very good, Mrs. Dollimore," replied Mr. Smith, with a blush and a low bow; "but Mr. Ritson tells me it is not the thing to dance."

"Oh," cried Mrs. Dollimore, "but then he's seech a naughty, conceited creature—don't follow his example, Meester Smith;" and again the good lady laughed immoderately.

"Nay, Mrs. Dollimore," said Mr. Ritson, passing his hand through his abominable hair, "you are too severe; but tell me, Mrs. Dollimore, is the Countess St. A—coming here?"

"Now, reelly, Mr. Ritson, you, who are the pink of feeshion, ought to know better than I can; but I hear so."

"Do you know the countess?" said Mr. Smith, in respectful surprise, to

"Oh, very well," replied the Coryphaeus of Cheltenham, swinging his
Woodstock glove to and fro; "I have often danced with her at Almack's."

"Is she a good deencer?" asked Mrs. Dollimore.

"O, capital," responded Mr. Ritson; "she's such a nice genteel little figure."

Sir Ralph, apparently tired of this "feeshionable" conversation, swaggered away.

"Pray," said Mrs. Dollimore, "who is that geentleman?"

"Sir Ralph Rumford," replied Smith, eagerly, "a particular friend of mine at Cambridge."

"I wonder if he's going to make a long steey?" said Mrs. Dollimore.

"Yes, I believe so," replied Mr. Smith, "if we make it agreeable to him."

"You must positively introduce him to me," said Mrs. Dollimore.

"I will, with great pleasure," said the good-natured Mr. Smith.

"Is Sir Ralph a man of fashion?" inquired Mr. Ritson.

"He's a baronet!" emphatically pronounced Mr. Smith.

"Ah!" replied Ritson, "but he may be a man of rank, without being a man of fashion."

"True," lisped Mrs. Dollimore.

"I don't know," replied Smith, with an air of puzzled wonderment, "but he has L7,000. a-year."

"Has he, indeed?" cried Mrs. Dollimore, surprised into her natural tone of voice; and, at that moment, a young lady, ringletted and flowered like herself, joined her, and accosted her by the endearing appellation of "Mamma."

"Have you been dancing, my love?" inquired Mrs. Dollimore.

"Yes, ma; with Captain Johnson."

"Oh," said the mother, with a toss of her head; and giving her daughter a significant push, she walked away with her to another end of the room, to talk about Sir Ralph Rumford, and his seven thousand pounds a-year.

"Well!" thought I, "odd people these; let us enter a little farther into this savage country." In accordance with this reflection, I proceeded towards the middle of the room.

"Who's that?" said Mr. Smith, in a loud whisper, as I passed him.

"'Pon honour," answered Ritson, "I don't know! but he's a deuced neat looking fellow, quite genteel."

"Thank you, Mr. Ritson," said my vanity; "you are not so offensive after all."

I paused to look at the dancers; a middle-aged, respectable looking gentleman was beside me. Common people, after they have passed forty, grow social. My neighbour hemmed twice, and made preparation for speaking. "I may as well encourage him," was my reflection; accordingly I turned round, with a most good-natured expression of countenance.

"A fine room this, Sir," said the man immediately.

"Very," said I, with a smile, "and extremely well filled."

"Ah, Sir," answered my neighbour, "Cheltenham is not as it used to be some fifteen years ago. I have seen as many as one thousand two hundred and fifty persons within these walls;" (certain people are always so d—d particularizing,) "ay, Sir," pursued my laudator temporis acti, "and half the peerage here into the bargain."

"Indeed!" quoth I, with an air of surprise suited to the information I received, "but the society is very good still, is it not?"

"Oh, very genteel," replied the man; "but not so dashing as it used to be." (Oh! those two horrid words! low enough to suit even the author of"- -.")

"Pray," asked I, glancing at Messrs. Ritson and Smith, "do you know who those gentlemen are?"

"Extremely well!" replied my neighbour: "the tall young man is Mr. Ritson; his mother has a house in Baker-street, and gives quite elegant parties. He's a most genteel young man; but such an insufferable coxcomb."

"And the other?" said I.

"Oh! he's a Mr. Smith; his father was an eminent merchant, and is lately dead, leaving each of his sons thirty thousand pounds; the young Smith is a knowing hand, and wants to spend his money with spirit. He has a great passion for 'high life,' and therefore attaches himself much to Mr. Ritson, who is quite that way inclined."

"He could not have selected a better model," said I.

"True," rejoined my Cheltenham Asmodeus, with naive simplicity; "but I hope he won't adopt his conceit as well as his elegance."

"I shall die," said I to myself, "if I talk with this fellow any longer," and I was just going to glide away, when a tall, stately dowager, with two lean, scraggy daughters, entered the room; I could not resist pausing to inquire who they were.

My friend looked at me with a very altered and disrepectful air at this interrogation. "Who?" said he, "why, the Countess of Babbleton, and her two daughters, the Honourable Lady Jane Babel, and the Honourable Lady Mary Babel. They are the great people of Cheltenham," pursued he, "and it's a fine thing to get into their set."

Meanwhile Lady Babbleton and her two daughters swept up the room, bowing and nodding to the riven ranks on each side, who made their salutations with the most profound respect. My experienced eye detected in a moment that Lady Babbleton, in spite of her title and her stateliness, was exceedingly the reverse of good ton, and the daughters (who did not resemble the scrag of mutton, but its ghost) had an appearance of sour affability, which was as different from the manners of proper society, as it possibly could be.

I wondered greatly who and what they were. In the eyes of the Cheltenhamians, they were the countess and her daughters; and any further explanation would have been deemed quite superfluous; further explanation I was, however, determined to procure, and was walking across the room in profound meditation as to the method in which the discovery should be made, when I was startled by the voice of Sir Lionel Garrett: I turned round, and to my inexpressible joy, beheld that worthy baronet.

"God bless me, Pelham," said he, "how delighted I am to see you. Lady
Harriett, here' your old favourite, Mr. Pelham."

Lady Harriet was all smiles and pleasure. "Give me your arm," said she;
"I must go and speak to Lady Babbleton—odious woman!"

"Do, my dear Lady Harriett," said I, "explain to me what Lady Babbleton was?"

"Why—she was a milliner, and took in the late lord, who was an idiot.—
Voila tout!"

"Perfectly satisfactory," replied I.

"Or, short and sweet, as Lady Babbleton would say," replied Lady
Harriett, laughing.

"In antithesis to her daughters, who are long and sour."

"Oh, you satirist!" said the affected Lady Harriett (who was only three removes better than the Cheltenham countess); "but tell me, how long have you been at Cheltenham?"

"About four hours and a half!"

"Then you don't know any of the lions here?"


"Well, let me dispatch Lady Babbleton, and I'll then devote myself to being your nomenclator."

We walked up to Lady Babbleton, who had already disposed of her daughters, and was sitting in solitary dignity at the end of the room.

"My dear Lady Babbleton," cried Lady Harriett, taking both the hands of the dowager, "I am so glad to see you, and how well you are looking; and your charming daughters, how are they?—sweet girls!—and how long have you been here?"

"We have only just come," replied the cidevant milliner, half rising and rustling her plumes in stately agitation, like a nervous parrot; "we must conform to modern ours, Lady Arriett, though for my part, I like the old- fashioned plan of dining early, and finishing one's gaieties before midnight; but I set the fashion of good ours as well as I can. I think it's a duty we owe to society, Lady Arriett, to encourage morality by our own example. What else do we have rank for?" And, so saying, the counter countess drew herself up with a most edifying air of moral dignity.

Lady Harriett looked at me, and perceiving that my eye said "go on," as plain as eye could possibly speak, she continued—"Which of the wells do you attend, Lady Babbleton?"

"All," replied the patronizing dowager. "I like to encourage the poor people here; I've no notion of being proud because one has a title, Lady Arriett."

"No," rejoined the worthy helpmate of Sir Lionel Garrett; "every body talks of your condescension, Lady Babbleton; but are you not afraid of letting yourself down by going every where?"

"Oh," answered the countess, "I admit very few into my set, at home, but I go out promiscuously;" and then, looking at me, she said, in a whisper, to Lady Harriett, "Who is that nice young gentleman?"

"Mr. Pelham," replied Lady Harriett; and, turning to me, formally introduced us to each other.

"Are you any relation (asked the dowager) to Lady Frances Pelham?"

"Only her son," said I.

"Dear me," replied Lady Babbleton, "how odd; what a nice elegant woman she is! She does not go much out, does she? I don't often meet her."

"I should not think it likely that your ladyship did meet her much. She does not visit promiscuously."

"Every rank has its duty," said Lady Harriett, gravely; "your mother, Mr.
Pelham, may confine her circle as much as she pleases; but the high rank
of Lady Babbleton requires greater condescension; just as the Dukes of
Sussex and Gloucester go to many places where you and I would not."

"Very true!" said the innocent dowager; "and that's a very sensible remark! Were you at Bath last winter, Mr. Pelham?" continued the countess, whose thoughts wandered from subject to subject in the most rudderless manner.

"No, Lady Babbleton, I was unfortunately at a less distinguished place."

"What was that?"


"Oh, indeed! I've never been abroad; I don't think persons of a certain rank should leave England; they should stay at home and encourage their own manufactories."

"Ah!" cried I, taking hold of Lady Babbleton's shawl, "what a pretty
Manchester pattern this is."

"Manchester pattern!" exclaimed the petrified peeress; "why it is real cachemere: you don't think I wear any thing English, Mr. Pelham?"

"I beg your ladyship ten thousand pardons. I am no judge of dress; but to return—I am quite of your opinion, that we ought to encourage our own manufactories, and not go abroad: but one cannot stay long on the Continent, even if one is decoyed there. One soon longs for home again."

"Very sensibly remarked," rejoined Lady Babbleton: "that's what I call true patriotism and morality. I wish all the young men of the present day were like you. Oh, dear!—here's a great favourite of mine coming this way—Mr. Ritson!—do you know him; shall I introduce you?"

"God forbid!" exclaimed I—frightened out of my wits, and my manners. "Come, Lady Harriett, let us rejoin Sir Lionel;" and, "swift at the word," Lady Harriett retook my arm, nodded her adieu to Lady Babbleton, and withdrew with me to an obscurer part of the room.

Here we gave way to our laughter for some time, till, at last, getting weary of the Cheltenham Cleopatra, I reminded Lady Harriett of her promise to name to me the various personages of the assemblage.

"Eh bien," began Lady Harriett; "d'abord, you observe that very short person, somewhat more than inclined to enbonpoint?"

"What, that thing like a Chinese tumbler—that peg of old clothes—that one foot square of mortality, with an aquatic-volucrine face, like a spoonbill?"

"The very same," said Lady Harriett, laughing; "she is a Lady Gander. She professes to be a patroness of literature, and holds weekly soirees in London, for all the newspaper poets. She also falls in love every year, and then she employs her minstrels to write sonnets: her son has a most filial tenderness for a jointure of L10,000. a-year, which she casts away on these feasts and follies; and, in order to obtain it, declares the good lady to be insane. Half of her friends he has bribed, or persuaded, to be of his opinion: the other half stoutly maintain her rationality; and, in fact, she herself is divided in her own opinion as to the case; for she is in the habit of drinking to a most unsentimental excess, and when the fit of intoxication is upon her, she confesses to the charge brought against her—supplicates for mercy and brandy, and totters to bed with the air of a Magdalene; but when she recovers the next morning, the whole scene is changed; she is an injured woman, a persecuted saint, a female Sophocles—declared to be mad only because she is a miracle. Poor Harry Darlington called upon her in town, the other day; he found her sitting in a large chair, and surrounded by a whole host of hangers-on, who were disputing by no means sotto voce, whether Lady Gander was mad or not? Henry was immediately appealed to:—"Now, is not this a proof of insanity?" said one.—"Is not this a mark of compos mentis?" cried another. "I appeal to you, Mr. Darlington," exclaimed all. Meanwhile the object of the conversation sate in a state of maudlin insensibility, turning her head, first on one side, and then on the other; and nodding to all the disputants, as if agreeing with each. But enough of her. Do you observe that lady in—" "Good heavens!" exclaimed I, starting up, "is that—can that be Tyrrell?"

"What's the matter with the man?" cried Lady Harriett.

I quickly recovered my presence of mind, and reseated myself: "Pray forgive me, Lady Harriett," said I; "but I think, nay, I am sure, I see a person I once met under very particular circumstances. Do you observe that dark man in deep mourning, who has just entered the room, and is now speaking to Sir Ralph Rumford?"

"I do, it is Sir John Tyrrell!" replied Lady Harriett: "he only came to
Cheltenham yesterday. His is a very singular history."

"What is it?" said I, eagerly.

"Why! he was the only son of a younger branch of the Tyrrells; a very old family, as the name denotes. He was a great deal in a certain roue set, for some years, and was celebrated for his affaires du coeur. His fortune was, however, perfectly unable to satisfy his expenses; he took to gambling, and lost the remains of his property. He went abroad, and used to be seen at the low gaming houses at Paris, earning a very degraded and precarious subsistence; till, about three months ago, two persons, who stood between him and the title and estates of the family, died, and most unexpectedly he succeeded to both. They say that he was found in the most utter penury and distress, in a small cellar at Paris; however that may be, he is now Sir John Tyrrell, with a very large income, and in spite of a certain coarseness of manner, probably acquired by the low company he latterly kept, he is very much liked, and even admired by the few good people in the society of Cheltenham."

At this instant Tyrrell passed us; he caught my eye, stopped short, and coloured violently. I bowed; he seemed undecided for a moment as to the course he should adopt; it was but for a moment. He returned my salutation with great appearance of cordiality; shook me warmly by the hand; expressed himself delighted to meet me; inquired where I was staying, and said he should certainly call upon me. With this promise he glided on, and was soon lost among the crowd.

"Where did you meet him?" said Lady Harriett.

"At Paris."

"What! was he in decent society there?"

"I don't know," said I. "Good night, Lady Harriett;" and, with an air of extreme lassitude, I took my hat, and vanished from that motley mixture of the fashionably low and the vulgarly genteel!


                             Full many a lady
             I have eyed with best regard, and many a time
             The harmony of their tongues hath unto bondage
             Drawn my too diligent eyes.
                          But you, oh! you,
             So perfect and so peerless, are created
             Of every creature's best.

Thou wilt easily conceive, my dear reader, who hast been in my confidence throughout the whole of this history, and whom, though as yet thou hast cause to esteem me but lightly, I already love as my familiar and my friend—thou wilt easily conceive my surprise at meeting so unexpectedly with my old hero of the gambling house. I felt indeed perfectly stunned at the shock of so singular a change in his circumstances since I had last met him. My thoughts reverted immediately to that scene, and to the mysterious connection between Tyrrell and Glanville. How would the latter receive the intelligence of his enemy's good fortune? was his vengeance yet satisfied, or through what means could it now find vent?

A thousand thoughts similar to these occupied and distracted my attention till morning, when I summoned Bedos into the room to read me to sleep. He opened a play of Monsieur Delavigne's, and at the beginning of the second scene I was in the land of dreams.

I woke about two o'clock; dressed, sipped my chocolate, and was on the point of arranging my hat to the best advantage, when I received the following note:

"My Dear Pelham,

"Me tibi commendo. I heard this morning, at your hotel, that you were here; my heart was a house of joy at the intelligence. I called upon you two hours ago; but, like Antony, 'you revel long o' nights.' Ah, that I could add with Shakspeare, that you were 'notwithstanding up.' I have just come from Paris, that umbilicus terrae, and my adventures since I saw you, for your private satisfaction, 'because I love you, I will let you know;' but you must satisfy me with a meeting. Till you do, 'the mighty gods defend you!'


The hotel from which Vincent dated this epistle, was in the same street as my own caravansera, and to this hotel I immediately set off. I found my friend sitting before a huge folio, which he in vain endeavoured to persuade me that he seriously intended to read. We greeted each other with the greatest cordiality.

"But how," said Vincent, after the first warmth of welcome had subsided, "how shall I congratulate you upon your new honours? I was not prepared to find you grown from a roue into a senator.

           "'In gathering votes you were not slack,
             Now stand as tightly by your tack,
             Ne'er show your lug an' fidge your back,
                             An' hum an' haw;
             But raise your arm, an' tell your crack
                                     Before them a'.'

"So saith Burns; advice which, being interpreted, meaneth, that you must astonish the rats of St. Stephen's."

"Alas!" said I, "all one's clap-traps in that house must be baited."

"Nay, but a rat bites at any cheese, from Gloucester to Parmasan, and you can easily scrape up a bit of some sort. Talking of the House, do you see, by the paper, that the civic senator, Alderman W—, is at Cheltenham?"

"I was not aware of it. I suppose he's cramming speeches and turtle for the next season."

"How wonderfully," said Vincent, "your city dignities unloose the tongue: directly a man has been a mayor, he thinks himself qualified for a Tully at least. Faith, Venables asked me one day, what was the Latin for spouting? and I told him, 'hippomanes, or a raging humour in mayors.'"

After I had paid, through the medium of my risible muscles, due homage to this witticism of Vincent's, he shut up his folio, called for his hat, and we sauntered down into the street. As we passed by one of the libraries, a whole mob of the dandies of the last night were lounging about the benches placed before the shop windows.

"Pray, Vincent," said I, "remark those worthies, and especially that tall meagre youth in the blue frock-coat, and the buff waistcoat; he is Mr. Ritson, the De Rous (viz. the finished gentleman) of the place."

"I see him," answered Vincent: "he seems a most happy mixture of native coarseness and artificial decoration. He puts me in mind of the picture of the great ox set in a gilt frame."

"Or a made dish in Bloomsbury-square, garnished with cut carrots, by way of adornment," said I.

"Or a flannel petticoat, with a fine crape over it," added Vincent. "Well, well, these imitators are, after all, not worse than the originals. When do you go up to town?"

"Not till my senatorial duties require me."

"Do you stay here till then?"

"As it pleases the gods. But, good Heavens! Vincent, what a beautiful girl!"

Vincent turned. "O Dea certe," murmured he, and stopped.

The object of our exclamations was standing by a corner shop, apparently waiting for some one within. Her face, at the moment I first saw her, was turned full towards me. Never had I seen any countenance half so lovely. She was apparently about twenty; her hair was of the richest chesnut, and a golden light played through its darkness, as if a sunbeam had been caught in those luxuriant tresses, and was striving in vain to escape. Her eyes were of a light hazel, large, deep, and shaded into softness (to use a modern expression) by long and very dark lashes. Her complexion alone would have rendered her beautiful, it was so clear—so pure; the blood blushed beneath it, like roses under a clear stream; if, in order to justify my simile, roses would have the complacency to grow in such a situation. Her nose was of that fine and accurate mould that one so seldom sees, except in the Grecian statues, which unites the clearest and most decided outline with the most feminine delicacy and softness; and the short curved arch which descended from thence to her mouth, was so fine—so airily and exquisitely formed, that it seemed as if Love himself had modelled the bridge which led to his most beautiful and fragrant island. On the right side of the mouth was one dimple, which corresponded so exactly with every smile and movement of those rosy lips, that you might have sworn the shadow of each passed there; it was like the rapid changes of an April heaven reflected upon a valley. She was somewhat, but not much, taller that the ordinary height; and her figure, which united all the first freshness and youth of the girl with the more luxuriant graces of the woman, was rounded and finished so justly, so minutely, that the eye could glance over the whole, without discovering the least harshness or unevenness, or atom, to be added or subtracted. But over all these was a light, a glow, a pervading spirit, of which it is impossible to convey the faintest idea. You should have seen her by the side of a shaded fountain on a summer's day. You should have watched her amidst music and flowers, and she might have seemed to you like the fairy that presided over both. So much for poetical description.

"What think you of her, Vincent?" said I.

"I say, with Theocritus, in his epithalamium of Helen—"

"Say no such thing," said I: "I will not have her presence profaned by any helps from your memory."

At that moment the girl turned round abruptly, and re-entered the shop, at the door of which she had been standing. It was a small perfumer's shop. "Thank Heaven," said I, "that she does use perfumes. What scents can she now be hesitating between?—the gentle bouquet du roi, the cooling esprit de Portugal, the mingled treasures des mellifleurs, the less distinct but agreeably adulterated miel, the sweet May-recalling esprit des violets, or the—"

"Omnis copia narium," said Vincent: "let us enter; I want some eau de

I desired no second invitation: we marched into the shop. My Armida was leaning on the arm of an old lady. She blushed deeply when she saw us enter; and, as ill-luck would have it, the old lady concluded her purchases the moment after, and they withdrew.

                "'Who had thought this clime had held
                A deity so unparallel'd!'"

justly observed my companion.

I made no reply. All the remainder of that day I was absent and reserved; and Vincent, perceiving that I no longer laughed at his jokes, nor smiled at his quotations, told me I was sadly changed for the worse, and pretended an engagement, to rid himself of an auditor so obtuse.


Tout notre mal vient de ne pouvoir etre seuls; de la le jeu, le luxe, la dissipation, le vin, les femmes, l'ignorance, la medisance, l'envie, l'oubli de soi-meme et de Dieu. —La Bruyere.

The next day I resolved to call upon Tyrrell, seeing that he had not yet kept his promise of anticipating me, and being very desirous not to lose any opportunity of improving my acquaintance with him; accordingly, I sent my valet to make inquiries as to his abode. I found that he lodged in the same hotel as myself; and having previously ascertained that he was at home, I made up my features into their most winning expression, and was ushered by the head waiter into the gamester's apartment.

He was sitting by the fire in a listless, yet thoughtful attitude. His muscular and rather handsome person, was indued in a dressing-gown of rich brocade, thrown on with a slovenly nonchalance. His stockings were about his heels, his hair was dishevelled, and the light streaming through the half-drawn window-curtains, rested upon the grey flakes with which its darker luxuriance was interspersed, and the cross light in which he had the imprudence or misfortune to sit (odious cross light, which even I already begin carefully to avoid), fully developed the deep wrinkles which years and dissipation had planted round his eyes and mouth. I was quite startled at the oldness and haggardness of his appearance.

He rose gracefully enough when I was announced; and no sooner had the waiter retired, than he came up to me, shook me warmly by the hand, and said, "Let me thank you now for the attention you formerly shewed me, when I was less able to express my acknowledgments. I shall be proud to cultivate your intimacy."

I answered him in the same strain, and in the course of conversation, made myself so entertaining, that he agreed to spend the remainder of the day with me. We ordered our horses at three, and our dinner at seven, and I left him till the former were ready, in order to allow him time for his toilet.

During our ride we talked principally on general subjects, on the various differences of France and England, on horses, on wines, on women, on politics, on all things, except that which had created our acquaintance. His remarks were those of a strong, ill-regulated mind, which had made experience supply the place of the reasoning faculties; there was a looseness in his sentiments, and a licentiousness in his opinions, which startled even me (used as I had been to rakes of all schools); his philosophy was of that species which thinks that the best maxim of wisdom is—to despise. Of men he spoke with the bitterness of hatred; of women, with the levity of contempt. France had taught him its debaucheries, but not the elegance which refines them: if his sentiments were low, the language in which they were clothed was meaner still: and that which makes the morality of the upper classes, and which no criminal is supposed to be hardy enough to reject; that religion which has no scoffers, that code which has no impugners, that honour among gentlemen, which constitutes the moving principle of the society in which they live, he seemed to imagine, even in its most fundamental laws, was an authority to which nothing but the inexperience of the young, and the credulity of the romantic, could accede.

Upon the whole, he seemed to me a "bold, bad man," with just enough of intellect to teach him to be a villain, without that higher degree which shews him that it is the worst course for his interest; and just enough of daring to make him indifferent to the dangers of guilt, though it was not sufficient to make him conquer and control them. For the rest, he loved trotting better than cantering—piqued himself upon being manly— wore doe-skin gloves—drank port wine, par preference, and considered beef-steaks and oysters as the most delicate dish in the whole carte. I think, now, reader, you have a tolerably good view of his character.

After dinner, when we were discussing the second bottle, I thought it would not be a bad opportunity to question him upon his acquaintance with Glanville. His countenance fell directly I mentioned that name. However, he rallied himself. "Oh," said he, "you mean the soi-disant Warburton. I knew him some years back—he was a poor silly youth, half mad, I believe, and particularly hostile to me, owing to some foolish disagreement when he was quite a boy."

"What was the cause?" said I.

"Nothing—nothing of any consequence," answered Tyrrell; and then added, with an air of coxcombry, "I believe I was more fortunate than he, in an affaire du coeur. Poor Granville is a little romantic, you know. But enough of this now: shall we go to the rooms?"

"With pleasure," said I; and to the rooms we went.


                   Veteres revocavit artes.

                   Since I came hither I have heard strange news.
                                 —King Lear.

Two days after my long conversation with Tyrrell, I called again upon that worthy. To my great surprise he had left Cheltenham. I then strolled to Vincent: I found him lolling on his sofa, surrounded, as usual, with books and papers.

"Come in, Pelham," said he, as I hesitated at the threshold—"come in. I have been delighting myself with Plato all the morning; I scarcely know what it is that enchants us so much with the ancients. I rather believe, with Schlegel, that it is that air of perfect repose—the stillness of a deep soul, which rests over their writings. Whatever would appear common- place amongst us, has with them I know not what of sublimity and pathos. Triteness seems the profundity of truth—wildness the daring of a luxuriant imagination. The fact is, that in spite of every fault, you see through all the traces of original thought; there is a contemplative grandeur in their sentiments, which seems to have nothing borrowed in its meaning or its dress. Take, for instance, this fragment of Mimnermus, on the shortness of life,—what subject can seem more tame?—what less striking than the feelings he expresses?—and yet, throughout every line, there is a melancholy depth and tenderness, which it is impossible to define. Of all English writers who partake the most of this spirit of conveying interest and strength to sentiments, subjects, and language, neither novel in themselves, nor adorned in their arrangement, I know none that equal Byron; it is indeed the chief beauty of that extraordinary poet. Examine Childe Harold accurately, and you will be surprised to discover how very little of real depth or novelty there often is in the reflections which seem most deep and new. You are enchained by the vague but powerful beauty of the style; the strong impress of originality which breathes throughout. Like the oracle of Dodona, he makes the forest his tablets, and writes his inspirations upon the leaves of the trees: but the source of that inspiration you cannot tell; it is neither the truth nor the beauty of his sayings which you admire, though you fancy that it is: it is the mystery which accompanies them."

"Pray," said I, stretching myself listlessly on the opposite sofa to Vincent, "do you not imagine that one great cause of this spirit of which you speak, and which seems to be nothing more than a thoughtful method of expressing all things, even to trifles, was the great loneliness to which the ancient poets and philosophers were attached? I think (though I have not your talent for quoting) that Cicero calls the consideratio naturae, the pabulum animi; and the mind which, in solitude, is confined necessarily to a few objects, meditates more closely upon those it embraces: the habit of this meditation enters and pervades the system, and whatever afterwards emanates from it is tinctured with the thoughtful and contemplative colours it has received."

"Heus Domine!" cried Vincent: "how long have you learnt to read Cicero, and talk about the mind?"

"Ah," said I, "I am perhaps less ignorant than I affect to be: it is now my object to be a dandy; hereafter I may aspire to be an orator—a wit, a scholar, or a Vincent. You will see then that there have been many odd quarters of an hour in my life less unprofitably wasted than you imagine."

Vincent rose in a sort of nervous excitement, and then reseating himself, fixed his dark bright eyes steadfastly upon me for some moments; his countenance all the while assuming a higher and graver expression than I had ever before seen it wear.

"Pelham," said he, at last, "it is for the sake of moments like these, when your better nature flashes out, that I have sought your society and your friendship. I, too, am not wholly what I appear: the world may yet see that Halifax was not the only statesman whom the pursuits of literature had only formed the better for the labours of business. Meanwhile, let me pass for the pedant, and the bookworm: like a sturdier adventurer than myself, 'I bide my time.'—Pelham—this will be a busy session! shall you prepare for it?"

"Nay," answered I, relapsing into my usual tone of languid affectation;
"I shall have too much to do in attending to Stultz, and Nugee, and
Tattersall and Baxter, and a hundred other occupiers of spare time.
Remember, this is my first season in London since my majority."

Vincent took up the newspaper with evident chagrin; however, he was too theoretically the man of the world, long to shew his displeasure. "Parr— Parr—again," said he; "how they stuff the journals with that name. God knows, I venerate learning as much as any man; but I respect it for its uses, and not for itself. However, I will not quarrel with his reputation—it is but for a day. Literary men, who leave nothing but their name to posterity, have but a short twilight of posthumous renown. Apropos, do you know my pun upon Parr and the Major?"

"Not I," said I, "Majora canamus!"

"Why, Parr and I, and two or three more were dining once at poor T. M— 's, the author of 'The Indian Antiquities.'Major—, a great traveller, entered into a dispute with Parr about Babylon; the Doctor got into a violent passion, and poured out such a heap of quotations on his unfortunate antagonist, that the latter, stunned by the clamour, and terrified by the Greek, was obliged to succumb. Parr turned triumphantly to me: "What is your opinion, my lord," said he; "who is in the right?"

"Adversis major—par secundis," answered I.

"Vincent," I said, after I had expressed sufficient admiration at his pun—"Vincent, I begin to be weary of this life; I shall accordingly pack up my books and myself, and go to Malvern Wells, to live quietly till I think it time for London. After to-day, you will, therefore, see me no more."

"I cannot," answered Vincent, "contravene so laudable a purpose, however I may be the loser." And after a short and desultory conversation, I left him once more to the tranquil enjoyment of his Plato. That evening I went to Malvern, and there I remained in a monotonous state of existence, dividing my time equally between my mind and my body, and forming myself into that state of contemplative reflection, which was the object of Vincent's admiration in the writings of the ancients.

Just when I was on the point of leaving my retreat, I received an intelligence which most materially affected my future prospects. My uncle, who had arrived to the sober age of fifty, without any apparent designs of matrimony, fell suddenly in love with a lady in his immediate neighbourhood, and married her, after a courtship of three weeks.

"I should not," said my poor mother, very generously, in a subsequent letter, "so much have minded his marriage, if the lady had not thought proper to become in the family way; a thing which I do and always shall consider a most unwarrantable encroachment on your rights."

I will confess that, on first hearing this news, I experienced a bitter pang; but I reasoned it away. I was already under great obligations to my uncle, and I felt it a very unjust and ungracious assumption on my part, to affect anger at conduct I had no right to question, or mortification at the loss of pretensions I had so equivocal a privilege to form. A man of fifty has, perhaps, a right to consult his own happiness, almost as much as a man of thirty; and if he attracts by his choice the ridicule of those whom he has never obliged, it is at least from those persons he has obliged, that he is to look for countenance and defence.

Fraught with these ideas, I wrote to my uncle a sincere and warm letter of congratulation. His answer was, like himself, kind, affectionate, and generous: it informed me that he had already made over to me the annual sum of one thousand pounds; and that in case of his having a lineal heir, he had, moreover, settled upon me, after his death, two thousand a-year. He ended by assuring me, that his only regret at marrying a lady who, in all respects, was above all women, calculated to make him happy, was his unfeigned reluctance to deprive me of a station, which (he was pleased to say), I not only deserved, but should adorn.

Upon receiving this letter, I was sensibly affected with my uncle's kindness; and so far from repining at his choice, I most heartily wished him every blessing it could afford him, even though an heir to the titles of Glenmorris were one of them.

I protracted my stay at Malvern some weeks longer than I had intended; the circumstance which had wrought so great a change in my fortune, wrought no less powerfully on my character. I became more thoughtfully and solidly ambitious. Instead of wasting my time in idle regrets at the station I had lost, I rather resolved to carve out for myself one still loftier and more universally acknowledged. I determined to exercise, to their utmost, the little ability and knowledge I possessed; and while the increase of income, derived from my uncle's generosity, furnished me with what was necessary for my luxury, I was resolved that it should not encourage me in the indulgence of my indolence.

In this mood, and with these intentions, I repaired to the metropolis.